Openly gay U.S. Senate candidate Jacob Meister has withdrawn his name from consideration for United States Senate andbefore a crowd of supporters, union members and elected officials at Teamsters Local 705 Jan. 31threw his support behind candidate Alexi Giannoulias, according to a campaign press release.
Meister said that Republican Sen. Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts and the spirit of bipartisanship set forth by the President Barack Obama in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address spurred Meister "to do what was in the best interest of the party."
Meister added, "I am privileged to have heard from so many people throughout Illinois, who understand that to be gay in America without the benefit of inalienable rights, is not to be American. ... [ M ] y next step will be to unite those voices into a chorus, through which we will educate the electorate, policymakers and elected officials about the importance of equal rights for all people by moving forward with an agenda that makes no person discriminated for their skin color or sexual orientation."
As he officially announced his withdrawal and endorsement of Giannoulias at the Teamsters 705 Auditorium, 328 S. Marshfield, Meister said, "Alexi knows what it means to be a Democrat," according to a press release from Giannoulias' camp. "It is the essence of his campaign. It is what sets him apart from the rest. He will move a pro-jobs, pro-education, pro-equality, pro-small business, and pro-innovation agenda forward. He will keep Illinois blue." Giannoulias, in accepting Meister's support, thanked him "for staying true to his Democratic principles."
In a separate e-mail to supporters, Meister thanked supporters for everything from their "unselfishness" to "knocking on doors" and "encouraging voicemails, emails, tweets and Facebook comments." He also urged them to support Giannoulias.