ROSELAND — After meeting with a South Side pastor, Corey Hardiman decided to drop out of the 9th Ward aldermanic race.
In June, Hardiman announced his quest to become the youngest person elected an alderman.
"After deep prayer and meditation, I have decided to withdraw from the 9th Ward aldermanic race," said Hardiman, a 23-year-old Roseland resident. "I had a divine conversation with Father Pfleger and after that meeting I knew it was not the time for me to seek office."
The meeting last week between Hardiman and the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, occurred by chance.
"I had went up to St. Sabina to return my friend's car to him and while waiting for him Father Pfleger walked past," said Hardiman, who graduated in May from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in political science. "He spoke and I asked him if we could talk and the conversation went from there."
Hardiman said at no time did Pfleger tell him to drop out of the race. Instead, Hardiman said Pfleger provided him with spiritual counseling.
"Once I left, I asked God to direct me in a path that would be most effective and shortly thereafter I received my answer," added Hardiman, a member of Salem Baptist Church in Pullman. "But I wouldn't rule out politics from my life completely. You may very well see me four to eight years from now back on the campaign trail."
For now, Hardiman said he planned to continue working with his nonprofit Enough Chicago while he searched for a full-time job. A lack of money had no bearing on his decision to drop out of the race, he said.
"I started this race with nothing but faith, so money was never a factor in my decision," he said.
Pfleger said it was Hardiman, not him, who concluded that now was not the time to run for office.
"I told him if he was unsure about what he wanted to do he should pause and listen to God," Pfleger said. "I asked him to stop and examine himself and not let his zeal misdirect him."
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