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Senate bid over, Cox can't wait to run again

October 10, 2003

BY SCOTT FORNEK Political Reporter

In what is believed to be the shortest political respite in Illinois history, Republican John Cox on Thursday dropped out of next year's U.S. Senate race -- as he announced he is considering running for state treasurer or comptroller in 2006.

"I plan on being a part of a statewide ticket in 2006," Cox said. "As a CPA, there's a couple of offices that deal with financial matters that would probably lend themselves to my experience and background."

Cox, 48, made his withdrawal official at a news conference with state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, the Elgin Republican who Cox said he is now endorsing. In his remarks, Cox laid the groundwork for his next campaign before actually declaring that he was dropping out of the race to succeed Republican Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

If Cox runs, it would be his fourth campaign in six years, coming after failed bids for the Senate in 2002 and Congress in 2000. But Cox bristled at the suggestion he is a perennial candidate.

"As long as I feel that there is somewhat of a receptive reception of my ideas, I'm going to continue," Cox said. "The crime is not in running and losing. The crime is in not trying at all to help the situation."

A Gold Coast businessman, Cox also denied a report in Thursday's Sun-Times that he was folding his Senate bid because of "embarrassing" fund-raising. He said he had as many as two dozen fund-raisers in the works but conceded he raised only $70,000 to $75,000 since officially launching his campaign.

"This is not about any weakness in my fund-raising or support -- one iota," Cox said.

Also dropping out was GOP entrepreneur Antonio Davis-Fairman, who is considering running for the West Side and west suburban 7th District congressional seat, now held by Rep. Danny K. Davis, said Richard Pirovano, Davis-Fairman's co-campaign chairman.

Those in the GOP Senate race include investment banker-turned-teacher Jack Ryan, businessman Andy McKenna Jr., dairy magnate Jim Oberweis, physician/businessman Chirinjeev Kathuria, retired Air Force Major Gen. John Borling and former state Rep. Jonathan Wright.


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