With polls showing him drawing insufficient votes from both Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Republican candidate Judy Baar Topinka, State Sen. James Meeks last week decided to end his threat of an independent candidacy and endorse fellow Democrat Blagojevich. Meeks, an African-American pastor from Southside Chicago who took some decidedly conservative stands on many cultural issues, nonetheless cited Blagojevich’s decision to support greater public school funding as his chief reason for ending his renegade campaign.
"Backroom buyoff!" is how State Treasurer and former State GOP Chairman Topinka characterized Meeks’s maneuver. The latest SurveyUSA poll shows Blagojevich defeating Topinka by 43% to 37% statewide.