Chicago race 2-way, but heated

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Chicago's increasingly strident mayoral election campaign is back to a two-way race, Monitor correspondent Lucia Mouat reports. One week after announcing she would be a write-in candidate for the April 12 election, Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne suddenly dropped out again. She cited an imminent long court fight over legal specifics as the reason. Meanwhile, a group of business and civic leaders representing 24 of the city's ethnic organizations appealed to both Democratic Congressman Harold Washington and GOP candidate Bernard Epton to avoid playing on racial fears.

In recent days Mr. Epton has stepped up his attacks on Mr. Washington, citing numerous instances over the years when the congressman failed to meet legal responsibilities. Mr. Washington insists the charges are old and that he has long since been punished. He charges that Mr. Epton has been playing with fire by mentioning the issue of race and has predicted that violence could occur if blacks think they are being treated unfairly. Epton insists he is not making race an issue.

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