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Meister, who is openly gay, is expected to officially announce his withdrawal Sunday, and endorse Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.
There has never been an openly gay member of the U.S. Senate. There are, however, a bevy of out and proud candidates running for state and local offices, including Jim Madigan, who's running for state Senate, and Ed Mullen, who's running for the Illinois House. The Windy City Times reported there were 10 out gay candidates running in the Feb. 2 election -- a record for the state.