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Evanston attorney Jeff Smith has suspended his campaign for state representative in the north suburban 17th District. He said in a prepared statement that he expects to file papers to withdraw his nomination by Thursday, January 12. Mr. Smith was the only candidate besides state-party supported Laura Fine, the clerk of Northfield Township, to file nominating papers in the wake of the decision by Rep. Daniel Biss to run for state senator. 

In announcing the suspension of his campaign, Mr. Smith said, “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 wanted 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.”