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Black Group Snubs Antigay Candidate

Black Group Snubs Antigay Candidate

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Black leaders in Chicago, seeking a consensus candidate to endorse for mayor, don't think antigay pastor James Meeks is it -- but Meeks shows no signs of abandoning his mayoral ambitions, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The paper reported Friday that a group of African-American elected officials, religious leaders, and community activists this week selected former U.S. senator Carol Moseley Braun and Cook County board of review commissioner Larry Rogers as finalists. Both will now meet with the group, known as the Chicago Coalition for Mayor.

A spokesman for Meeks said the coalition's decision would have no impact on whether Meeks runs. He "is going to be a mayor for the entire city -- not just a small group," communications director Brian Zises told the Sun-Times. Meeks, who has opposed gay rights as both an Illinois state senator and a megachurch pastor, has yet to make a formal announcement but is considered a likely candidate, having recently added to his campaign staff.

Although known for his antigay stances, Meeks did meet with Chicago gay leaders earlier this month. He is among several possible replacements for retiring mayor Richard M. Daley, the most high-profile being President Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Candidates have until late November to file; the election is February 22, with a runoff April 5 if necessary.

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