State Sen. Trotter Exits Race for Jackson Seat

Article excerpt

Byline: Associated Press

An Illinois state lawmaker who was considered a front-runner to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress ended his candidacy Saturday, saying he did not want the felony gun charges he is facing to detract from the important issues in the district.

Democratic State Sen. Donne Trotter was arrested Dec. 5 when security screeners at Chicagos OHare International Airport found an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta handgun and ammunition in his garment bag. He told officers the gun is for a job he has with a security firm and that he had forgotten it was in his bag. Trotter, 62, spent a night in jail before posting bail and being released. He has been charged with a felony.

Trotter announced Saturday he will not seek the 2nd congressional district seat, which includes parts of Chicagos South Side and nearby suburbs.

"Today I formally announce my intention to end my candidacy for that position," he told an audience of district constituents, local officials and journalists in suburban Lynwood. "The people of the second Congressional district have critical needs that must be met."

For weeks after his arrest, Trotter insisted he would still seek the seat and touted his achievements during 24 years in state politics, even as his attorney, Thomas Durkin, acknowledged that the charges left a "cloud hanging over his head." Trotter maintained the backing of an influential suburban township leader, but missed out on the Cook County Democratic Partys endorsement, as its slating committee opted for an open primary among the dozen or so Democratic candidates. …