Cullerton drops congressional bid to run again for state Senate
State Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park says he'll drop his bid for Congress in 2016 and run for re-election to the Illinois Senate instead.
Cullerton was one of the Democratic contenders in the 8th Congressional District to try to replace U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is running for U.S. Senate.
But Cullerton said he'll instead focus on returning for a second term at the state Capitol as a rare Democratic lawmaker from DuPage County. He says he wants to remain in the Illinois Senate as the state continues to face numerous challenges.
"I was elected to go down to Springfield and do a job," Cullerton said.
His exit from the race leaves businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and fellow state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin as Democratic candidates for the seat. But with months left before candidates have to file for office, others could get in or out.
On the Republican side, DuPage County Board member and former Elmhurst Mayor Peter DiCianni has said he's considering a run.
Krishnamoorthi has led early fundraising, pulling in $621,041 to Cullerton's $134,761 in the second quarter of the year. Noland reported raising about $64,516.
Cullerton first won election to the state Senate in 2012 and is formerly the mayor of Villa Park. He says he doesn't regret taking a look at moving up.
"The opportunity for a congressional seat doesn't come along very often," Cullerton said.
Now, he'll pursue re-election in DuPage County in a district where Republican former state Rep. Randy Ramey has said he's looking at trying to return to Springfield.