State Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th) has withdrawn from the race for 7th District state central committeeman seat.

Harmon, who is one of four assistant Illinois Senate majority leaders, formally withdrew last Thursday, Dec. 3. Two other candidates, Joseph W. Sneed, who is running for 10th District state rep, and Thomas E. Simmons also dropped out Thursday. A fourth candidate, Nancy Shepard, dropped out earlier.

Harmon said he had made the decision to run for state central committeeman in November, after it appeared long-time state committeeman and U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) was not running. He said he made the decision to withdraw after conferring with colleagues and mulling over the consequences of running against Davis, whom he called an ally and a friend.

“Congressman Davis has been an ally on many issues, and this seems like a poor time to pick a fight with a friend,” Harmon said Tuesday.

Harmon said he’s made no secret of his desire to help “chart a clear and progressive direction” for the Democratic Party at a state and national level.

“I don’t hide the fact I want to take a leadership role in the state party,” he said. “I hope in the future I have that opportunity.”

The withdrawals leave Davis with two opponents, Edward D. James and Brian K. Henderson.

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