Thank You for Your Support.
On 12 January 2012 I filed a withdrawal of candidacy with the State Board of Elections. I will not be on the March 20 Democratic primary ballot. The following is the statement released to the press on January 11.
"I wrote some years ago that despite a candidate's talent and desire, a lot turns on being in the right place at the right time. The Democratic primary for the 17th House District in 2012 is in a new place with not enough time for a real primary discussion. The unusually short schedule instead sets up a battle of branding, mainly purchased, with unacceptable levels of political casualties.
"Political races are team efforts, and a responsible candidate has to think of more than himself. On a personal level, a race makes demands on the family, friends, and supporters of a candidate. On a higher level, any race impacts whatever principles and movement the candidate hopes to advance.
"This campaign has already had important impact by bringing ideas to the forefront. I salute those who worked on short notice to place my name in nomination, or who lent their prestige or dollars, because they forced some accountability. However, I care too much about those same supporters to lead a charge either for symbolic reasons, or to a Pyrrhic victory.
"Suspending my campaign will free up many important resources for many other political, professional, and personal projects in which I and others were invested when this race suddenly arose.
"I again thank those who would like me to represent this district. One reason I have such dedicated supporters is because they believe I would make smart, thoughtful, principled, and fair decisions that put the larger community ahead of political expedience. This decision, I hope, will reinforce that belief."
-- Jeff Smith
On Our Side.
Jeff Smith is an independent Democrat who lives in the north suburban 17th District. This recently-remapped district suddenly became an open seat in November, 2011 when newly-elected Rep. Daniel Biss (D.-Evanston) announced he would run for state senate in 2012.
Jeff Smith is a public-spirited attorney well-versed in the challenges Illinois faces, with a track record of fighting, even against tough odds, on behalf of others, and of looking for workable solutions. Jeff, like most of us, wants to see something different in Illinois government, to believe again in our state. His campaign was based on the kind of innovative, independent problem-solving that the north suburbs expect.
This website, like the campaign, was a grassroots effort reflecting the humble seeds from which any change must grow. Due to the suddenness with which this campaign had to begin, the site launched complete with bugs and outdated references, so that the content could drive the conversation. While it remains live, please alert us to broken links, etc. Thank you for your ideas, good wishes, and support.