Halvorson sees boosted chances to win Jackson seat

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson believes her chances of winning Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacant U.S. House seat have just been given a boost.

One of her opponents in the Democratic primary battle, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, announced Sunday she has withdrawn from the race and is backing another Democratic candidate, Robin Kelly.

Halvorson says she believes she can easily woo those who had supported Hutchinson and keep those votes from going to Kelly.

Halvorson said the shake-up in the race indicates her opponents within the party are panicking with just days to go before the Feb. 26 primary.

She said she was surprised by Hutchinson's sudden withdrawal and questioned what was behind the decision.

Hutchinson said she didn't want her continued candidacy to risk dividing the community and fellow Democrats.