Scott Lee Cohen, the pawnbroker whose surprise victory in last week’s Democratic lieutenant governor primary was followed by scandalous revelations about him, quit the race tonight at the urging of party leaders.
Cohen made the tearful announcement at the Hop Haus tavern on the Far North Side.
"For the good of the people …I will resign," he said, adding: "The last thing I ever, ever wanted to do was to put the people of Illinois in jeopardy in any way."
When Cohen became a candidate, he disclosed that a 2005 domestic battery charge against him had been dismissed. It was only after his victory Tuesday that the details became known: His girlfriend at the time, a prostitute, had accused him of holding a knife to her throat but had failed to appear in court, leading to charges being dropped.
More revelations followed last week: Cohen admitted injecting anabolic steroids, was accused of failing to pay child support even while he put at least $2 million into his campaign, and was identified as the target of dozens of lawsuits over back taxes.