Laesch ends vote challenge

Days after officially asking for a sample recount of votes in the Democratic primary, congressional candidate John Laesch dropped his challenge, citing high costs. Bill Foster won the Democratic nomination for the 14th District seat in the Feb. 5 primary, along with Saturday's special election to fill the vacant seat until early next year. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert left the seat late last year upon his retirement. Laesch came in a close second but did not concede until Monday - three days after he directed his attorney to request a recount of a sampling of the district, which includes part of DeKalb County. Laesch and Foster were separated by fewer than 400 votes across the district. On Monday morning, Laesch dropped his challenge. Laesch did not return telephone calls Monday, and campaign officials referred to a statement on Laesch's campaign Web site. The statement read in part: “We have to remember that the possible is not always probable, and a recount will be costly in terms of both volunteer time and supporter money, and there is no guarantee. In light of Saturday's election results, and in consultation with my senior campaign staff, I have directed my attorney this morning to withdraw the recount petitions.” Laesch also stated, “Because our Congressional campaign is over does not mean I will end my involvement in electoral politics.” Laesch vowed to fight for an end to the war in Iraq, where his brother is serving. Republican candidate Jim Oberweis will face off against Foster in the Nov. 4 general election.