Name recognition of opponent too much to overcome, he says
The first Democrat who officially announced his intention to seek the 18th Congressional District seat has dropped out of the race, leaving only former NBA coach and commentator Dick Versace in the running.
Chuck Giger, 59, of Chatham said it’s not in the best interest of the Democratic Party for him to stay in the race.
"With my opponent’s name recognition, resources, and key county party endorsements, it would be difficult for me to mount a well-supported campaign in the three most populous counties within the district," Giger said in a letter to Democratic Party county chairmen. "Further, my grass-roots campaigning and fundraising could potentially divert district party base resources that will be needed to compete in the general election."
The retired Navy aviator acknowledged early on his candidacy would be an uphill battle because he has little name recognition and no political experience. He quit his job as a clinical ethicist at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield to devote his time to the campaign.
Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, is retiring at the end of his term in 2009, leaving the seat open. At least three Republicans have already announced they will seek the GOP nomination for the seat.
Versace, a Democrat, plans to tour the district in a 28-foot motor home called the "Common Sense Express."