As much as local Republicans would like to see it, it still appears that there won't be a Democratic Party primary for the 52nd District Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Rick Winkel of Urbana.
Champaign County Auditor Mike Frerichs remains the only announced Democratic candidate.
This morning Champaign County Board member Brendan McGinty of Urbana announced he would not challenge Frerichs for the seat.
"In recent weeks, many people have contacted me asking if I would consider running for State Senate. These individuals encouraged me because of a combination of my professional and political background as well as my commitment to Democratic Party values such as reproductive choice. Others simply wanted another choice in the March primary. Needless to say, I'm both flattered and honored that so many would express such support.
"However, at this time, I believe that I can best serve the people of Champaign County who elected me last November by continuing to focus on my responsibilities on the County Board, working with our leadership to achieve important goals.
"I am therefore announcing my intention not to pursue a seat in the State Senate at this time and to support Mike Frerichs in his pursuit for the seat."
McGinty said he had not told Frerichs in advance of his announcement. "I did this completely on my own." He said there was no deal with Frerichs to take over the county auditor position if Frerichs won the Senate seat. "Hell no, that's not my intention," McGinty said.
He said he has not heard of any other Democrats who are considering the race, but that all of those who were rumored candidates have denied it.
He said he "very seriously considered" entering the race. "A winnable seat of this importance is always worth a serious look," McGinty said. But he said his own business, plus his work on the county board, makes a candidacy at this time impossible.