State Sen. Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the 2nd District special Democratic primary today and endorsed former state Rep. Robin Kelly in the contest to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.
The move, announced in a morning news release, shakes up the Democratic field just nine days before the Feb. 26 primary election.
"Robin is a friend, and has captured momentum in pulling our community together. I am simply unwilling to risk playing a role going forward that could result in dividing our community at time when we need unity more than ever," Hutchinson said in the statement.
There are now three major Democratic candidates left in a 15-candidate field: Kelly, Halvorson and 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale of Chicago.
Hutchinson got an early boost in the contest when Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle endorsed her instead of Kelly, who served as a top aide to Preckwinkle. But Preckwinkle jumped to Kelly's camp today, according to the Hutchinson campaign news release.