NORMAL — A University High School teacher has withdrawn from the race for the 13th District congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.
Benjamin Webb, a Normal resident who teaches English and theater, did not specify why he's dropping out in a statement released Tuesday evening.
The Democrat was campaigning as recently as Monday night, when he hosted a Twitter forum with the Illinois State University Democrats student group.
"A sincere thank you to those who have inspired and motivated us to begin this journey and work towards a better future. ... It is with a humble and hopeful heart that I am withdrawing," Webb said. "I have learned a great deal since beginning this process and look with earnest as to the future of this midterm election. (This district) holds such potential, and we look forward to the progress we can make in our communities."
Webb was one of several Democrats angling to challenge Davis, a Taylorville Republican who national Democrats believe is vulnerable in the 2018 election. The primary election is March 20, and the general election is Nov. 6.
Candidates still in the race include David Gill, a Bloomington physician; Jon Ebel, a University of Illinois religion professor; Erik Jones, an Edwardsville attorney; and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield.
Gill has run for Congress five times before. Jones is a former investigative counsel for U.S. House and Senate committees. Londrigan has worked as a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat.
Davis has represented the district, which stretches from Champaign-Urbana to the Mississippi River, since 2013.