Eric Wallace, a conservative GOP candidate, announced Tuesday that he is dropping his primary bid for Illinois' U.S. Senate -- leaving the door open to re-enter the race as an Independent to challenge moderate Republican Rep. Mark Kirk.
"Too much is at stake for the citizens of Illinois in this race and I have decided to put my personal ambitions aside to prevent the splitting of 'true' conservative and Christian votes in the primary and thereby handing the nomination uncontested to Mark Kirk," Wallace said in a press release Tuesday.
"I don’t want to be responsible for handing this primary to Mark Kirk because my fellow conservatives and I split the vote in the Republican Party. Defeating Kirk has to take first priority because he is neither an economic nor social conservative," Wallace said.
Kirk, a moderate Republican who represents Illinois's 10th district, announced in July that he would be running for the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama.
In his press release Tuesday, Wallace criticized Kirk as "Republican in name only."
"Defeating Kirk has to take first priority because he is neither an economic nor social conservative," Wallace said. "On fiscal and economic growth issues, he has one of the lowest rankings of any Republican."