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Kevin Burns calls off 14th District campaign

GENEVA - Citing Dennis Hastert's endorsement of Jim Oberweis, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns on Thursday said he would stop campaigning for the 14th Congressional District seat. “We knew it was an uphill battle when we jumped into the race back in August, and the incline has gotten more steep,” Burns, a Republican, said Thursday. “In light of the powerful reputation (Hastert) has and his support of Mr. Oberweis, this has made it more difficult.” When Hastert resigned last month, he triggered a special election to fill the remainder of his current term, which ends in January 2009. The primary for the special election and the primary for the regular November election both will be held Feb. 5. Burns, who filed for the special election four days ago, could still appear on the ballot for both primaries. He said he consulted his family and campaign team before deciding to stop campaigning. “Obviously, I didn't reach this conclusion easily,” Burns said. “We looked at everything very dispassionately and came to the conclusion that it was probably best to suspend the operation.” Burns said he planned to attend a candidates' breakfast Friday but would be in the audience, not speaking. As of Thursday, Burns said he didn't know whether he would withdraw his name from the ballots, leaving open the possibility that he could return to campaigning. Other candidates, however, can file objections seeking to pull his name from the ballot. “If other candidates or campaigns want to explore that option, I'll defer to them,” Burns said. A candidate looking to withdraw from the races must go through two separate procedures, said elections specialist Kay Walker of the Illinois State Board of Elections. To remove his name from the regular primary - the race to take a full, two-year term starting January 2009 - Burns must submit a notarized letter saying he wants his name removed. Because the regular primary ballot already has been certified, the letter will have to go before the full state board. The next time the state board meets will be Dec. 21 to consider objections. The board might call another meeting later in the year should it not get to all the objections that day, but Walker said the board likely would not call another meeting for just one withdrawal. To remove his name from the special primary - the race to fill the remainder of the current term - Burns again must submit a notarized letter. “I would say the last day, period, would be Dec. 28 (the day the board plans to certify the special ballot),” Walker said. “I don't know if our board would honor one after that.” Burns' move leaves seven candidates in the regular primary and four candidates in the special primary. The remaining special-primary candidates are Republicans Oberweis and state Sen. Chris Lauzen and Democrats John Laesch and Bill Foster. In addition to those four, the remaining regular-primary candidates are Republican Michael Dilger and Democrats Jotham Stein and Joe Serra. Burns said he was proud of his time in the race. “I still believe I'm the best candidate, and I'm extraordinarily proud of what we've been able to accomplish with limited resources,” he said. Kane County Chronicle reporter Paul Dailing can be reached at pdailing@kcchronicle.com. --- The candidates Special primary election candidates for the 14h Congressional District: John Laesch, Democrat Bill Foster, Democrat Chris Lauzen, Republican Jim Oberweis, Republican Regular primary election candidates for the 14h Congressional District: John Laesch, Democrat Bill Foster, Democrat Joe Serra, Democrat Jotham Stein, Democrat Michael Dilger, Republican Chris Lauzen, Republican Jim Oberweis, Republican

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