Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman on Thursday became the second Illinois Democrat in the Senate race to meet with White House adviser David Axelrod.
Hoffman's campaign notified the White House that he would be in town and Axelrod's staff invited him to a meeting, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported.
Axelrod met with another candidate, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, earlier this month. Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson is also in the running.
President Barack Obama won't endorse a candidate until after the Feb. 2 primary, so the meetings are being billed is strategic sessions mostly concerned with keeping the seat currently held by Sen. Roland Burris out of Republican hands.
Burris announced over the summer that he would not run for a full term.
"There’s a strong feeling that, as you know, David Axelrod and the Democrats in Illinois want to keep this seat," Hoffman campaign manager Michael Powell told Roll Call.
The leading Republican, with strong name recognition and a sizeable war chest, is Rep. Mark Kirk.
Hoffman is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. His campaign is being advised by the political consulting firm previously run by Axelrod.
Published at 3:56 PM CDT on Oct 29, 2009 | Updated at 6:22 PM CDT on Oct 29, 2009