Scott Lee Cohen: Baxter Swilley Was “Not My First Choice”

Independent candidate for governor Scott Lee Cohen today formally announced the selection of former campaign staffer Baxter Swilley as his running mate.

"He was not my first choice, but he is the best choice,"Cohen said at the Westside Baptist Ministers Conference. "The first person I asked was Reverend Meeks."

Cohen says he received around 30 applications for the lieutenant governor position, but chose Swilley because of his experience and views.

Asked whether Reverend Meeks and other candidates Cohen approached turned him down, Cohen said "they were noncommittal."

"After much deliberation I choose Baxter. While I grew up in Lincolnwood, Baxter grew up in Maywood ... different perspectives are important to any team."

Swilley, for his part, used the announcement to focus on job growth in Illinois.

"Now is not the time to raise taxes," Swilley saud. "We can educate our way out of this recession."

 This story has been updated to correct a quote from Mr. Cohen.

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