The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Meeks Drops Out of Mayoral Race

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 24, 2010 3:00PM

Looks like State Senator Rev. James Meeks answered Kevin's question, although he did tried to bury it by doing so in an e-mail released to media late yesterday.

Meeks, who met with Congressman Danny Davis and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to find a consensus African-American candidate for mayor, said he was leaving the race because, with four other black candidates with eyes on the Fifth Floor (the others being Patricia van Pelt-Watkins and William "Dock" Walls III), "our house is divided."

Meeks tried to focus on the positives (such as they are) and not his sixth-place standing in the most recent IRMA poll, invoked the name of Harold Washington, and insisted that his leaving the race was a selfless act:

“It is long past time that we build on the tremendous successes of the great Harold Washington and his administration by electing another African-American to become our mayor. But as long as our community remains divided and splintered — to the specific advantage of the front-running, status quo candidates — we will never see things improve. We need to speak with one voice.

“So, even as I continue to believe that I would be both the best prepared and the most electorally viable candidate in this race, I have chosen to lead by example. I am hereby announcing my withdrawal from this race, and am urging the other African-American candidates to do likewise.

“In so doing, I am endorsing no one person; rather, I am asking all of the African-American candidates to subordinate their own candidacies to the greater good of our city and our community, and submit to a caucus of clergy, elected officials, and residents whose sole purpose shall be to winnow the remaining field down to one candidate. Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Mayor this year; I want to be a part of this process, and there should be no question about my motives.’’

Davis and Braun responded with statements of their own, announcing their intentions to keep the house divided stay the course in their respective campaigns.