- - Monday, February 14, 2011

ILLINOIS

Chicago race heads into final week

CHICAGO | Chicago’s mayoral hopefuls are entering their final full week of campaigning before the election next Tuesday.

The final debate is set Thursday on WLS-TV. The candidates are seeking to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley.

A recent poll by the Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV shows former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel leading the other three major candidates with 49 percent support. Former Chicago schools President Gery Chico had 19 percent, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun had 10 percent and City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 8 percent.

Mr. Chico and Mrs. Braun are battling for the No. 2 spot on Election Day to force an April runoff.

The top two vote-getters will advance if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

UTAH

Romney has lead over home state rival

SALT LAKE CITY | Mitt Romney would receive the vote of more than twice as many Utahns for president than fellow Republican Jon Huntsman Jr., according to a statewide poll.

The Deseret News/KSL poll found that 56 percent of Utahns would cast their ballot for Mr. Romney, while 26 percent would choose Mr. Huntsman. Nine percent said they would vote for neither candidate, and another 9 percent were undecided.

Among Republican respondents, the poll found 72 percent would support Mr. Romney and just 15 percent would back Mr. Huntsman.

In a Utah GOP primary with Mormons Mr. Romney and Mr. Huntsman, Sarah Palin would get 7 percent and Mike Huckabee would receive 4 percent, according to the poll.

Mr. Romney, former Massachusetts governor and leader of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, won the 2008 Utah GOP presidential primary with an unprecedented 90 percent of the vote.

Mr. Huntsman, a former Utah governor, submitted his resignation as U.S. ambassador to China effective April 30 amid speculation he would run for president.

WASHINGTON

Ousted fed worker sues Breitbart

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod has sued conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart over a video that led to her dismissal last summer, according to a person with knowledge of the lawsuit.

Mrs. Sherrod said Monday that she is “still reeling” after she was ousted in a racial firestorm in July. USDA officials asked Mrs. Sherrod to resign after Mr. Breitbart posted an edited video of comments she had made in a speech. The clip did not include the whole speech and made her comments appear racist. She was later asked to return but declined the offer.

Mrs. Sherrod referred questions about the lawsuit to her attorney, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Mr. Breitbart said on his website that he was sued, but did not mention Mrs. Sherrod by name. He said he is “confident of being fully vindicated.”

WEST VIRGINIA

Judge tightens special-election rules

CHARLESTON | Candidates for this year’s special election for governor cannot tap funds raised for a 2012 campaign, the state attorney general’s office has advised.

The next scheduled election for governor was not to be held until 2012, but then the state Supreme Court ordered one for this year. Last month’s ruling mandates that an elected governor take office by Nov. 15, or one year after now-U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III resigned. The Democrat had more than two years left in his second term as the state’s chief executive.

With the special primary set for May 14, at least two of this year’s candidates had raised funds for a 2012 bid: acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state Treasurer John Perdue. Both are Democrats.

The advisory letter from Managing Deputy Attorney General Barbara Allen notes that such candidates could refund money raised by a 2012 campaign, and those donors could then contribute to this year’s effort. Mr. Tomblin plans to follow that advice, campaign spokesman Joe Shafer said Monday.

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