According to published reports in the Chicago Tribune, veteran U.S. Rep. Danny Davis today dropped his bid to challenge Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and said he will seek re-election to Congress.
Davis had hedged his bets by filing petitions for the Feb. 2 Democratic primary for county president as well as for the seat in Congress he has held for 13 years. A run for board president would end his career in the House.
"I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for Cook County Board president and instead will run for reelection," Davis said at a morning news conference. He said he likes being a congressman and "I'm good at it."
Davis said he realized that it would be "politically dangerous" for candidates from the same political and community base to run at the same time.
Stroger still faces a crowded field of challengers that includes Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Ald. Toni Preckwinkle, 4th, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O'Brien, the only white candidate for the Democratic nomination.
Black ministers earlier this fall had said they were worried the number of black challengers to Stroger could result in blacks losing the post, which an African American has held for more than a decade.
Davis said he met with Stroger Sunday as part of his decision process. "I talked with (Stroger) about the information I had and I talked with him about about the challenges of the race," Davis said.
Davis said it was a difficult decision but unity was the prime consideration. He said he will make an endorsement in the race but hasn't decided yet who it will be.
Several Democrats have filed to run for Davis' 7th District seat, but could opt to drop out now that he's staying in the federal race.