Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.
Mr. Hackett staged a surprisingly strong Congressional run last year in an overwhelmingly Republican district and gained national prominence for his scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. It was his performance in the Congressional race that led party leaders to recruit him for the Senate race.
But for the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.
"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.
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I have a problem with the Washington establishment telling the local party what's best for their state. They are doing it with Casey in Pennsylvania and it is only serving to widen the gap between the activists on the ground and the string-pullers in D.C.
Earlier this evening I received a call from the DCCC and it only took 2 minutes for the guy to get to the point: they need my cash to help finish their recapturing of Congress. When I explained to the rep that I have already bought a Democracy Bond from the DNC and don't have the discretionary funds to donate to every party group that contacts me, he tried to guilt me into supporting them anyways.
They don't get it. The party is losing support because they aren't supporting candidates who will fight hard and direct to advance a progressive platform that can easily be contrasted from the wingnut Republicans in power, not because they failed to extract $20 from my bank account.
I am not an ATM. We have much work to do.