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Meister quitting Illinois Senate race; will back Giannoulias

BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporter

Attorney Jacob Meister will pull out of the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate Sunday and throw his support to State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Meister said tonight.

“Alexi is well ahead in the polls,” Meister said. “He’s going be our party’s nominee and I think we need to come together around him.”

At recent debates Meister frequently tore into challenger David Hoffman but had few cross words for Giannoulias.

But Meister called “preposterous” the suggestion that he was a Giannoulias pinch-hitter from the start.

“The suggestion that I was in any way recruited or in cahoots with Alexi or anyone in his camp is ridiculous,” Meister said.

The only openly gay candidate in the race, Meister said he is satisfied that Giannoulias is committed to the causes Meister supports. The fact that Hoffman clerked for former conservative U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist concerns Meister, even though Hoffman espouses all the same positions in favor of gay marriage, for example, that Giannoulias does.

Hoffman is the former city of Chicago Inspector general. Urban League President Cheryle Jackson and Dr. Robert Marshall remain in the race.