Davis Out Of County Race

Will try to return to Congress

By Steve Rhodes and Mary Ann Ahern
|  Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 1:27 PM CDT
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Two Illinois Pols Among Congress' "Most Corrupt"

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Davis Explains Motivation for Congressional Return

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis is dropping out of the race for Cook County Board president and will instead run for re-election to Congress.
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U.S. Rep. Danny Davis will drop out of the race for Cook County Board president and instead run for re-election to Congress, sources tell NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern.

"I like being a congressman," Davis said at a morning news conference, adding that he was pleased to be a part of health reform and that would be politically dangerous for four candidates from the same political base to run for Cook County Board president.

He said he's dropping out for "the sake of unity." David won't endorse a candidate today, he added, but will before the primary.

While Davis filed election papers in both races, he hinted strongly at the direction he would take in an interview with WBEZ last week, in which he said he thought incumbent Todd Stroger "could make a good president."

That was in sharp contrast to Davis's rhetoric when he first announced he was gunning for Stroger's job.

“Even if I did not run, someone else will and either way I doubt if (Stroger) could win,” Davis told the Chicago Defender in July.

Last month Davis claimed to have polling showing he was the frontrunner in the race.

And when he filed his petitions for the contest, Davis declared to his cheering supporters that "My mind is made up."

Now he says "I think the incumbent certainly understands the issues and knows the problems."

Davis's decision to run for re-election to Congress will likely keep Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) - and maybe the rest of the field who filed for that contest - out of that race.

It's not the first time Davis has played this game. When Todd Stroger's father, John, was ailing, Davis let it be known that he would be available for the job.

What remains unanswered is whether Davis's county board flirtation had a strategic purpose - perhaps for Stroger - or whether Davis simply doesn't like his Washington job much but can't find another one to get elected to.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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