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Meeks Under Pressure To Leave Mayoral Race

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James Meeks at Ann Sather's Restaurant

Rev. and State Sen. James Meeks, a candidate for mayor of Chicago, speaks with reporters after visiting Ann Sather’s restaurant in the Lakeview neighborhood. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – While Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy for mayor is moving forward, another mayoral contender is under pressure to drop out.

As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports, the three African-American candidates in the race – former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and state Sen. Rev. James Meeks (D-Chicago) – reportedly got together Wednesday, trying once again to unite behind a consensus candidate.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

Davis tells the Chicago Sun-Times they discussed poll results and “their chances of being successful in the election.”

A source familiar with the talks says if any of the three is to drop out, it is likely to be Meeks. He stumbled last week with a comment that only African-Americans should qualify for contracts set aside for women and minorities.

Speaking in an interview on WVON radio, Meeks’ exact words were: “I think that the word minorities from our standpoint should mean African-Americans. I don’t think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title.”

Spokesman Bryan Zises later told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine Friday that Meeks meant to say African-Americans are lagging far behind minority- and women-owned businesses when it comes to the set-aside program. He said Meeks believes African-American firms need extra help when it came to bidding on city jobs.

The spokesman denies Meeks is dropping out of the race.

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