GOP Frontrunner Asked to Drop Out of Race

Republican opponents want Andy McKenna to answer questions about "poll-gate"

By Mary Ann Ahern and BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 4:20 PM CDT
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Former Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor Jim Ryan is asking frontrunner Andy McKenna to withdraw from the campaign over what some are calling "poll-gate."

McKenna, while state party chairman, had the Illinois Republican Party pay for a $28,000 poll to show how he stacked up against other potential statewide candidates.  Critics say McKenna used that inside information to his advantage when he announced he was running for governor.

Ryan and DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett want the state party to release the full report done by an ethics committee for the state party.  They believe the documents would show that McKenna didn't cooperate fully with the investigation.

"The purpose of a campaign is to answer questions about your background, about your character, about what you're going to do for the state and how you've led in the past.  These are important questions for Andy McKenna or anybody who's running for office,"  Birkett said.

Since the story first broke in the State Journal-Register, McKenna has ducked two major Chicago debates and refuses to answer questions about the scandal.

"If Andy McKenna cannot answer simple questions about his own actions, voters should be very wary of supporting him," said Ryan.

McKenna has apologized to the satisfaction of the state GOP.  The party said it will not release the 93-page report.

"It is unfortunate that in the final days of this campaign, Andy's opponents would attempt to impugn his character with untrue personal attacks, rather than talking about what each candidate will do to return our debt-ridden state to financial stability," former Attorney General Ty Fahner said on McKenna's behalf.

Complete Coverage:  Illinois Elections 2010
 

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