Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will not cave to national Democrats who have been urging him to run for the U.S. Senate and will instead seek re-election, the Reader's Mick Dumke reports, citing an unnamed "source in the know."
National Democratic leaders anxious over the prospect of losing President Obama's former Senate seat to the GOP have reportedly been courting Dart to run in the hopes that the rising star, who combines an establishment pedigree with a reformer's sheen, could beat likely Republican nominee U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk.
Dart will announce his plans early next week, possibly on Facebook, Dumke reports.
As Dart bows out, another candidate who could seize the reformer's mantle is about to jump in.
Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, who late last month resigned his post as one of Mayor Daley's least favorite antagonists to run for the Senate, is planning to officially launch his campaign for the Democratic nomination next week.
From an email sent by the Hoffman campaign:
Thank you so much for signing up to receive emails from my U.S. Senate campaign to bring accountability and transparency to government at all levels. I am touched and encouraged by the hundreds of people who have contacted my website in the few days since I announced my intention to run.
Obviously, we will not have the support of the political insiders and special interests who have dominated politics in Illinois, so your interest in this campaign will help make the difference. I will be sure to keep you informed as our campaign develops, and I hope you will contact me with your thoughts and ideas.
Meanwhile, I will be making my formal announcement during the week after Labor Day, followed by a tour around the state. I will be sure to let you know as we put together the details.
Thank you again for your interest in this campaign. With your help and support, I know we can make a difference.
Hoffman's nascent campaign has picked up endorsements from state Senators Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), the Sun-Times' Michael Sneed reported Friday.