Your NPR news source

Cohen Ends Troubled Candidacy, Dems Jockey to Replace Him

SHARE Cohen Ends Troubled Candidacy, Dems Jockey to Replace Him
Cohen Ends Troubled Candidacy, Dems Jockey to Replace Him

Scott Lee Cohen last Thursday. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Democratic nominee for Illinois lieutenant governor Scott Lee Cohen says he is dropping out of the race. This follows reports of Cohen’s troubled past, including steroid abuse and allegations of domestic violence.

Since Cohen’s surprise victory last Tuesday, he’s faced near constant pressure from the media and Democratic bigwigs. On Friday he met with House Speaker Michael Madigan, and last night Cohen called it quits. His spot on the ballot will now be filled by the 38 members of the Democratic State Central Committee, led by Speaker Madigan.

BROWN: We’ll look at all the alternatives, and find the best candidate that can help Democrats win from top-to-bottom comes November.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the committee could meet in the middle of next month, as originally planned, or earlier. The speaker previously supported the candidacy of state Representative Art Turner of Chicago. But the four other Democrats who ran for lieutenant governor, State Representative Mike Boland, union electrician Thomas Castillo, and Senators Rickey Hendon and Terry Link, all insist they’d be the strongest candidate for the party come November.

Boland finished fourth in the primary.

BOLAND: No telling what other things might have come out. And it was bet all around, I think, that he stepped down.

State Senator Rickey Hendon finished third in voting for lieutenant governor. He says he hopes party leaders fully vet their next choice.

HENDON: Let me say, whoever they reach out for, they better make sure that they do a thorough job to make sure they don’t have a similar scandal to Mr. Cohen’s in their closet.

Raja Krishnamoorthi, who lost a close primary for state comptroller last week, also plans to lobby for the spot on the ticket.

Whoever is picked will join incumbent Governor Pat Quinn on the November ballot. In a statement Sunday night, Quinn said Cohen “made the right decision for the Democratic Party and the people of Illinois.”

The Latest