MOLINE - Citing family concerns, candidate for State Representative from the 71st District, Jeff McKinley (R-Orion), publicly withdrew from the primary and offered full support to his friend and colleague, Jim Wozniak (R-East Moline).
"Effective immediately, I am officially withdrawing from the campaign to be the next state representative from the 71st district. I also wholeheartedly endorse my former opponent, my coworker, and my friend, Jim Wozniak, as our next representative.
McKinley, who was noted as being the only openly gay GOP candidate, said he and Wozniak decided to run without knowing each other's intentions.
"Our competition was never personal and we both ran positive campaigns focused on issues and the future. I am also grateful for that," McKinley said.
"Ideas are powerful, and we know that conservative principles are the bedrock upon which we can restore our state. I have every confidence that Jim Wozniak will successfully put our ideas into action. I look forward to joining him on the campaign trail and working with him to achieve a victory for our shared ideas of liberty and limited government.
Mike Smiddy should consider himself on notice: his time as a cog in the Pat Quinn-Mike Madigan machine is up, McKinley said.
"Today, Republicans are united in our efforts to restore common sense in the 71st district and in Springfield."