CHICAGO — Alleged pistol-packing state Sen. Donne Trotter is out.
Sources told DNAinfo.com Chicago that Trotter, who many considered the front-runner to win the the 2nd Congressional seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has decided to drop out of the race because of the "cloud hanging over his head."
Trotter was charged with a felony earlier this month when he was allegedly caught with a gun in his carry-on luggage at an O'Hare Airport security checkpoint. He told federal agents he forgot to unpack the gun after working as a security guard for Allpoints Security and Detective Inc.
DNAinfo.com Chicago was first to report that law enforcement sources said the investigation will likely look into whether Trotter, who makes nearly $90,000 a year as senator, really does moonlight as a security guard.
A separate state probe has been launched to determine if the Southeast Side security firm has acted as a “front” to procure firearm control cards for people who are not employed as armed guards, according to a source close to the investigation.
Trotter, who is due back in court next month, did not return calls seeking comment.
The state senator decided to drop out of the race after talking with his biggest supporter, Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli, said township spokesman Bob Storman.
With Trotter out, the race is up for grabs with more than a dozen candidates in the hunt.
"The party is too splintered. It won't take a lot of votes to win and we could end up with a congressman with a brain the size of an acorn," a source said. "Trotter was respected in the city and the suburbs. Now that he's out it's jokers wild. It's the city against the suburbs. It's one big mess."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he won't endorse a candidate, but he expects the next congressman to be on "Team Chicago."
Sources say Zuccarelli has other ideas.
The powerful South Suburban political boss is looking to persuade "lesser" candidates to drop out of the race and support a new "front-runner from the suburbs." Insiders say that state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, of Olympia Fields, and former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, of Crete, appear to be lead contenders to get Zuccarelli's support.