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updated: 12/28/2011 5:48 PM

GOP candidate for 33rd District withdraws

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A candidate for the Republican nomination in the state senate 33rd District has dropped out of the primary election in March, and will instead contest the seat as an Independent at the November 2012 general election.

Craig Powers, 64, of Geneva, withdrew his candidacy last week after Chad Koppie, a Republican from Gilberts, challenged signatures on Powers' nominating petition.

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"I didn't want to go downtown and deal with the dog and pony show only to find out that I have 999 signatures," Powers said Wednesday. "That would have infuriated me."

Powers was set to face current Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay and Gilberts Village Trustee Cliff Surges for the redrawn senate district that now covers portions of Kane and McHenry counties. The district reaches from Geneva to Elgin and north to East and West Dundee, and includes Sleepy Hollow and Huntley.

Powers, who said he has been involved with Republican politics since the mid-1980s, said he has a better chance of beating the Republican nomination as an Independent.

"I want to be on the ballot and I have issues that will come out," Powers said. "I will debate them until they hide. ... The Republican party is on life support right now."

So far, there are no Democratic nominations for the 33rd District. Incumbent Dan Kotowski, a Democrat from Park Ridge, is instead running for election in state senate District 28.

Initially, Powers said he submitted his nomination earlier this month because the other candidates were not qualified for the position and had not distinguished themselves from other candidates.

"I am going to be a leader," Powers said. "I am not going to sit and learn for four years. People want someone to go in there and kick some (butt)."

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