St. Louis Public Radio News
8:42 am
Mon December 21, 2009

Two Democrats quit Illinois governor's race

Springfield, Ill. – The four-way Democratic primary race for governor has been cut in half; it's down to just Governor Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes. But one of the candidates no longer on the ballot says he's not out of the running completely.

The only African American in the race for governor, Chicago community activist William "Doc" Walls, dropped out of the Democratic primary. Walls had faced a challenge to his filing papers that could have disqualified him. But before the state board of elections ruled on the objection, he withdrew. Walls said he did it, so he could run as an independent instead.

"I realized I'm not going after the ward organizations, and the Democratic party organizations, because I represent a clean break from the past," Walls said. "And I can't align myself with people who are part and parcel of the problem: people who are taking money from special interest groups and big business."

Walls denied that his decision had to do with his low poll numbers. He said it has more to do with disillusion of party leaders, like Quinn, who he says claims to be a reformer but is now part of the Democratic machine.

Election authorities removed the other Democratic candidate for governor, suburban Chicago attorney Ed Scanlan, for not having enough valid petition signatures. Scanlan missed the 5,000 minimum by just 76 signatures. He also fared poorly in recent polls.