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Purcell drops out of 14th Congressional District race
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/4/2009 12:00 AM

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A large field of Republicans seeking to unseat Democrat Bill Foster in the 14th Congressional District shrank by one Thursday when Jim Purcell bowed out of the race.

Purcell was a bit of a latecomer to the race in comparison to the rest of the field. Instead of being an obstacle, Purcell said Thursday, he wants to ensure that the true conservative vote not be split so Republicans can regain the seat and some other political opportunities.

"If I stayed in the primary, my options would have been cut off," Purcell said. "This is a very strategic withdrawal."

Purcell referred to an inability to be a candidate for any other office that comes up in the near future if his name remained on the February primary ballot. However, the Batavia businessman would not say what other political offices he is interested in. Purcell said the only things he could promise on Thursday were that he would not be a Republican candidate for the 14th Congressional District and voters haven't seen the last of him.

"We're not leaving the war," Purcell said. "We're just moving to another part of the battlefield."

Purcell said he is not throwing his support behind any of the other Republican candidates in the race, but only because none of the other candidates have asked him for his support. The only candidate Purcell would rule out supporting is Ethan Hastert.

"I have nothing personal against Ethan," Purcell said. "I really don't want to beat on him too bad. But it just makes me nervous that we're going to appoint someone because of their famous last name. I think we're past that sort of thing."