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Donne Trotter Congress Run Ends: Illinois Pol Cites Weapons Charge As He Exits Race

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Illinois State State Sen. Donne Trotter speaks to the media as he leaves a Cook County Courthouse with his attorney Tom Durkin, left, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 in Chicago. The veteran Illinois state senator is ending his campaign to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat in Congress. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) | AP

CHICAGO — An Illinois state lawmaker who was a frontrunner to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. says he's ending his candidacy because he doesn't want the felony gun charges he faces to detract from the district's important issues.

Donne Trotter was arrested Dec. 5 when security screeners at O'Hare International Airport found an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta handgun in his bag.

He told officers he has the gun for a job he works with a security firm and forgot it was in his bag before he went to the airport.

Trotter announced Saturday he will not seek the 2nd congressional district seat, explaining that solving the area's economic and other problems was too important to allow his legal "situation to detract from what needs to be front and center."

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