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Joe Birkett Drops Bid For Attorney General, Calls Race Against Madigan 'Virtually Unwinnable'

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DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett is dropping his campaign for Illinois Attorney General, saying that a race against incumbent Lisa Madigan would be "virtually unwinnable."

Birkett announced his intention to run last month, when it was widely assumed Madigan would vacate the job to run for higher office. Birkett said at the time that Madigan's future plans would not effect his campaign and he reaffirmed it with a blog post welcoming Madigan to the race when she announced her re-election bid.

But Birkett seemed to be backing away from that bluster in recent weeks, and Thursday he made it official with an announcement on his campaign web site.

Last month I announced that I planned to run for Illinois Attorney General and that I would formally announce my candidacy during a statewide fly-around. As you know, contrary to everyone's expectations, one week later Lisa Madigan announced that she would seek re-election. Since that time, I have talked to my family, friends and supporters. I have assessed the political environment, the anticipated costs, and the commitment of time, among other factors. It has become clear to my advisors and me that it will be virtually impossible to compete financially with Lisa Madigan. She has the power of incumbency and her father continues to control the flow of campaign contributions. It would be wrong for me to run and to ask people to contribute to a race that that is virtually unwinnable under the circumstances. I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me to run and I truly appreciate your continued support. I look forward to working to restore our state's soiled reputation in any way I can.

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