State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) has dropped out of the race for the Illinois 2nd Congressional district race, telling the Chicago Sun Times that he did not wish to “tarnish the election.” In a race already tarnished by the abrupt resignation of longtime Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., another distraction of this type would have brought the wrong focus to this race.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Donne Trotter told an audience of district constituents, local officials and journalists in suburban Lynwood that “Today I formally announce my intention to end my candidacy for that position. The people of the second Congressional district have critical needs that must be met.”
“The stakes are too high and the debate is too important,” Trotter added that, “Nothing must be allowed to eclipse this debate. My commitment to these and other quality-of-life issues runs too deep to allow myself or my situation to detract from what needs to be front and center.”
As the Chicago City Hall Examiner reported last month, Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter was arrested on Wednesday at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, charged with a Class 4 felony, which is an attempt to board an aircraft with a weapon. What might have been just another minor news story, is now a major story because Senator Donne Trotter is an announced candidate for the vacated seat of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
TSA agents discovered an unloaded .25 caliber pistol and a clip loaded with live rounds packed inside Trotter’s garment bag about 8 a.m. Trotter told investigators that he worked the late shift for security for Allpoints Security and Detective Inc. the night before and didn’t realize the weapon and bullets were in his bag when he packed for his trip. Trotter had a valid firearm owners identification card that was registered to his senate office at the state capitol building.
The mystery deepens as to the moonlighting job of Donne Trotter. Chuck Goudie of ABC News put it best when he said, “He is charged with having a gun that no one seems to know he owned to use on a job that no one knew he had.” Chick Goudie also revealed in an I-Team investigation that Trotter’s bio and disclosure forms do not reveal this security job. Goudie’s I-Team also revealed that the firm has a $5 million deal to provide armed escorts for CTA cash collections.
Trotter’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, acknowledged that the charges left a “cloud hanging over his head.” Senator Donne Trotter is still facing the gun charges and he will spend his time defending against those charges. But the heat of a political campaign will immediately disappear for Trotter.
Among those still in the race and reportedly circulating petitions are Chief Administrative Officer for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and former state Rep. Robin Kelly; Chicago 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale; Illinois 40th District State Senator Toi Hutchinson; former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson; recently elected to the 15th district of the Illinois State Senate, Napoleon Harris III; and disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds.
The final field is expected to be whittled down to three or four candidates.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books