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Black Leaders Pick Davis As ‘Consensus Candidate’

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U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois)

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A coalition of African-American elected officials, pastors, business leaders and others have chosen U.S. Rep. Danny Davis as their so-called “consensus candidate” for mayor, after more than two months of discussions.

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“After two months of organizing, implementing strategies, research, and interviews, the Coalition voted to select Congressman Danny K. Davis as the consensus candidate for the Mayor of the City of Chicago,” the group said in a written statement on Saturday.

Shortly after Mayor Richard. M Daley announced in September that he would not seek another term, the coalition began the process of picking a single black candidate to throw their support behind.

Late last month, they narrowed down their choices to four candidates: Davis, State Sen. James Meeks, former U.S. Sen Carol Moseley Braun and attorney Larry Rogers. That group was later whittled down to two finalists, Braun and Rogers, but last week the coalition called back Meeks and Rogers for more interviews based on negative feedback from some members of the group.

The coalition met Friday night to make its final pick and announced Davis as their choice on Saturday.

But it seems unlikely Davis will be the only finalist to run. Meeks has repeatedly said he plans to run regardless of the coalition’s choice, although sources have told CBS 2 that he might be willing to sit out the race if Davis were picked.

And Braun’s spokeswoman, Renee Ferguson, told the Chicago News Cooperative that the coalition’s decision to pick Davis wouldn’t affect Braun’s plans. Braun has hired a campaign staff and opened a campaign office, but has yet to formally announce she’s running.

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