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Toi Hutchinson Drops Out of 2nd District Race

The state senator now pledges to put her support behind Robin Kelly for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s former seat.

Toi Hutchinson announced Sunday that she has withdrawn from the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat, and will be backing Robin Kelly to oppose former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.

"Robin is a friend, and has captured momentum in pulling our community together," said Hutchinson in a release. "I am simply unwilling to risk playing a role going forward that could result in dividing our community at time when we need unity more than ever. In the wake of horrendous gun related crimes all across our country, I agree with Robin that we need to stand together to fight gun violence, but Debbie Halvorson been (sic) wrong headed in her refusal to moderate her views on banning dangerous assault weapons."

Hutchinson recently came under criticism by Kelly after a past National Rifle Association questionnaire revealed 'A' ratings. Hutchinson said the Sandy Hook shooting changed her mind, though Kelly said in a release that her mind was only changed when "she entered a race for Congress where her past support of the NRA’s agenda was no longer politically convenient.”

Hutchinson also faced criticism from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Independence Public Action Committee in regard to gun control, according to Sun Times Media

Kelly noted in the same statement about Hutchinson's withdrawal from the 2nd District race that she and Hutchinson "haven’t agreed on everything, we have a strong mutual respect, share a passion for public service and dedication to the people in Chicago and the Southland."

Hutchinson's withdrawl also brings Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle into Kelly's support camp, as she originally was backing the state senator.

"I’m proud of Toi for agreeing to put voters before her own ambitions," Preckwinkle said in the same statement. "She is young and has a bright future ahead of her. I did not want to see her campaign close with negative attacks at a time when Robin Kelly is surging with momentum to capture the Democratic nomination for Congress."

Preckwinkle also criticizes Halvorson's stance on gun control and other positions in the statement.

"During Debbie Halvorson’s one term in Congress, she opposed President Obama on dozens of issues including critical Wall St. reform and extending benefits for the long term unemployed," Preckwinkle said in the statement.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky also weighed in on Hutchinson's decision in the same release, describing the 2nd District race as "too important for the party to remain divided."

"I applaud her for doing what is best for the Democratic Party today and joining the Kelly campaign so Robin can go to Washington to work with me and President Obama for common sense gun safety laws," Schakowsky said in the statement.

This latest added support for Kelly follows endorsements from Illinois congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis.

Representatives for Halvorson said a statement on Hutchinson's withdrawal is expected later Sunday.

Return to Patch for more updates.

Learn more about the various candidates for the 2nd Congressional District in our video series.

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Pam February 18, 2013 at 06:09 PM
June, wake up and smell the roses. The United States Constitution guarantees all of it's citizens in good standing and good mental health the right to bare arms; including you. However, get the facts straight. Candidate CHARLES RAYBURN chooses NOT TO CARRY A GUN. June, there is a fallacy in your logic. You WRONGFULLY ASSUMED that because candidate CHARLES RAYBURN is a "BLUE PERK CARD CARRING SECURITY OFFICER that Mr. RAYBURN carries a gun. HE DOES NOT, so take your best shot, it only shows how ignorant you really are, and that you speak emotionally rather than reporting the facts, so let me school you. There are ARMED SECURITY OFFICERS and UNARMED SECURITY OFFICERS. In order to become an ARMED SECURITY OFFICER, you have to take and pass ARMED SECURITY OFFICER courses and even then you can STILL function as an UNARMED SECURITY OFFICER. Candidate CHARLES RAYBURN is functioning as an UNARMED SECURITY OFFICER that has passed an FBI, and State of Illinois Police Background Check; NOT an ARMED BULLY. (more to come after June appoliges for reporting false information about Candidate RAYBURN.) (June, your false statements have been turned over to my legal team.) (more to come)
Dinkum February 18, 2013 at 06:56 PM
OK Pam or whatever your other pro CR Patch names are enough is enough. The Constitution does not "guarantee" nor does it say anything about "good mental health" so stop making this stuff up. YOU are the one who needs to go back to school. Did you really write "so take your best shot" when going after June about CR carrying a gun? I'm sending that line over to a head shrink. More to come... I have also turned over your false information on the Constitution to my head of Security (that would be Zoe, our dog). More to come...
James Bond February 18, 2013 at 07:17 PM
LMAO , Dink could have not said it better myself. And if this is the type of person Mr. Rayburn has as followers, I think he would bail out not too. I think she is a self appointed spokesperson. Blame the State of Illinois for cutting mental health programs and centers.
I Think, Therefore I Vote February 19, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Walker Percy, I would like to clarify a couple of your points. Debbie Halvorson is, and has not been a "stooge" for Speaker Madigan. She has not enjoyed any assistance from the Speaker's Political operation, either during the 2012 primary run against JJJr., or today. Debbie and the president "go way back" further than Ms. Kelly, they served together in The State Senate beginning in 1996. I agree with the rest of your comment. Thank you ... Michael ... A Voter in the New 2nd Congrssional
Big Tommy February 20, 2013 at 09:59 PM
If her mom was making $57,000 -I wonder what her sister was making!

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