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  Vallas backs Hoffman in Democratic U.S. Senate contest
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Last Editedev  Jan 01, 2010 12:14pm
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News DateWednesday, December 30, 2009 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionVallas backs Hoffman in Democratic U.S. Senate contest

Posted by Monique Garcia at 1:05 p.m.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas endorsed Democrat David Hoffman for U.S. Senate today, citing the former city inspector general's "fierce independence."

It's unclear, however, how much weight Vallas' backing carries in Illinois these days. Vallas left his Chicago schools job to run in the 2002 Democratic governor primary, which he lost to then-Congressman Rod Blagojevich.

Since then, Vallas has worked as a school superintendent in Philadelphia and New Orleans, his name surfacing periodically as a potential candidate for office in Illinois. Vallas flirted with a run as a Republican for Cook County Board president this year, but did not make the race.
In a campaign year when ethics in the wake of Blagojevich's fall is expected to be a top issue, Vallas said he decided to support Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, because of his “refusal to be bullied and intimidated.”

“I have not seen a record probably more impressive than David’s,” said Vallas, who now heads the state-run Recovery School District of Louisiana. “He’s a serious man going about the serious business of rooting out corruption in government. This is an individual who we need to put in the Senate.”

Hoffman offered his own words of support for Vallas, saying Illinois would be a different place had he been victorious over Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell the Senate seat Hoffman and others are seeking.

“I doubt I’d be standing here today running for the U.S. Senate if Paul Vallas had become governor of Illinois in 2002 instead of Rod Blagojevich,” Hoffman said. “The election of Paul Vallas would have had a profound effect on this state. Pay-to-play, the culture of corruption, the stain on this very Senate seat, we would not be talking about these things had we elected Governor Vallas.”

Other Democratic candidates running in the Feb. 2
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