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Thursday, November 09, 2006
Gutierrez and Jackson pass on Daley challenge
CHICAGO (CNN) -- The aftershocks from Tuesday's Democratic sweep were felt in Chicago. No surprises in the local congressional races, but two Democratic House veterans decided it would be more fun to stay in the new majority, instead of running against Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said he was 'excited to be in the majority,' where he is in position to chair a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee. Also, his wife was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which would prevent him from going "full speed" in a mayor's race.

Then, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Illinois, also decided the status quo was better than the prospect of a fight against one of the strongest political operations in the country.

Jackson said it is "an extraordinary time" in US history, with the new majority, and added he was eager to help Illinois as the only congressman from the state on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He acknowledged running against 'Hizzoner' would have been a 'formidable contest,' and now he and Daley can 'work together' to help Chicago.

While an ongoing federal corruption investigation has troubled the Daley administration in recent months, Tuesday's election results suggested he retains political strength here, as a key ally was elected to Cook County Board President, despite strong opposition.

Voting for the mayor takes place in the spring of 2007.

-- Midwest Bureau Chief Fuzz Hogan
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