Ryan dropping out?


Stephen W. Stromberg
June 25, 2004 12:04AM (UTC)

The Chicago Tribune reports today that Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan is considering dropping out of the Illinois Senate race. Ever since the sordid details of his recently released divorce papers got out, his campaign has insisted that Ryan would stay in the race. But unnamed sources told the Tribune that Ryan aides spoke with other members of the congressional delegation today about throwing in the towel. What does this mean for the prospects of the already strong Democratic candidate, Barack Obama? "If Ryan were persuaded to withdraw, [Sen. Peter] Fitzgerald said, it would be 'almost for certain' the Republicans would lose the Senate seat."

Even if Ryan doesn't withdraw, he has an uphill battle to fight; he has lost credibility even among some of the most devoted in his party. The Tribune also reported today that the Illinois state Republican chairwoman and House Speaker Dennis Hastert both claimed Ryan misled them about what the divorce documents actually contained.

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Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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