Daley Won't Call For Cohen to Step Aside

Stopped short of saying Cohen should remain on the ticket

Saturday, Feb 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:39 PM CDT
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Daley on Cohen: "This Is Not a Game"

Mayor Richard Daley answers reporters questions about Scott Lee Cohen.
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Mayor Daley today declined to ask embattled Lt. Gov. nominee Scott Lee Cohen to resign his nomination.

"People vote in elections. Everybody knew he was a pawnbroker," Daley said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "You knew. The media knew. Everybody knew that, right?"

Several top Democrats, including former senator Adlai Stevenson, Gov. Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Dem. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias have suggested Cohen relinquish his nomination.

The pawn broker-turned Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor has been dogged for days over allegations he abused anabolic steroids, went into fits of rage, sexually abused his then-wife, got behind in child support payments and held a knife to the throat of a former girlfriend, who happens to be a convicted prostitute.

As of Friday night, Cohen was allegedly seeking a "honorable" way to abdicate his nomation, according to a Sun-Times report citing an unnamed source.

Daley did not go as far as to say Cohen should remain on the November ballot but warned it's a complicated proposition to ask someone to step aside just because you don't like them.

"So anybody who's allegedly -- who's arrested and the case is thrown out, should not run for public office. Is that right? You want that done?" Daley said, according to the Tribune. "I'm just saying, it's a very complicated issue. It's much more complicated than you think it is. Just because I don't like a person, he or she should not," Daley said. "If I did that, you would write editorials that the mayor is a boss, he's a dictator. That he's telling people who got elected in the primary that they should not be going to the general election."

Read Daley's full comments here.

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