Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Scott Lee Cohen, a Chicago pawnbroker whose surprise primary win last week was followed by scandalous revelations about his troubled past with a prostitute ex-girlfriend, said Sunday night he would quit as nominee.
"For the good of the people … I will resign," a tearful Cohen told reporters at a news conference he chose to hold at a Far North Side bar during halftime of the Super Bowl.
"The last thing I ever, ever wanted to do was to put the people of Illinois in jeopardy in any way," he also said.
Cohen's decision came five days after Democratic voters bypassed five rivals, including veteran state lawmakers, and chose the rookie candidate who poured $2 million in personal funds into an advertising blitzkrieg for the state's lightly regarded lieutenant governor spot. It marked one of the quickest and most dramatic changes to an Illinois political ticket in history.
A 38 member panel known as the Democratic Central Committee will choose a replacement in March. For all intents and purposes however, it will be Michael Madigan that will be making this decision.