Lang ends Illinois gubernatorial bid

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The field of Democratic candidates for governor got a little less crowded Monday with Rep. Lou Lang's decision to drop out of the race.

The Skokie Democrat announced he would run for another term in the Illinois House rather than seek the nomination for governor.

That leaves five Democrats who say they are running for governor next year, including former Attorney General Roland Burris and former Chicago schools chief Paul Vallas.

Three Republicans are battling for the GOP nomination.

Lang has crisscrossed the state to build support for his campaign but has had little success raising money or making a dent in early opinion polls.

Lang said he decided to withdraw because Democrats won control of the process of drawing new boundaries for legislative districts. That makes it likely Democrats will take full control of the General Assembly.

That would give Lang a chance to pass bills on his top issues, including mental health, education and campaign-finance reform, he said.

"With these anticipated changes in the Illinois General Assembly after the 2002 election, I believe that I can best fight on behalf of these important issues from the vantage point of the state legislature," Lang said in a statement.

He has been a state lawmaker since 1987.

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