Rev. James Meeks returned to the pulpit of his church Sunday for the first time since dropping out of the race for mayor.
In this Nov. 12, 2008 file photo, Illinois Sen. James T. Meeks, D-Calumet City, watches his fellow lawmakers during session on the Senate floor at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Meeks has withdrawn from the race to be Chicago's next mayor. Meeks said in a statement Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, that the city "is divided .and cannot stand."
Meeks, who dropped from the mayoral race last week, told his congregation that either Carol Moseley Braun or Danny Davis should be next.
So far, neither Braun nor Davis has dropped out.
Meeks ended his campaign, he says, in the interest of unity. He wants a consensus candidate, and warned that if all the African American candidates stay in the race, the black vote will be divided and the community will suffer.
During his sermon Sunday, State Senator Meeks challenged the other African American candidates to rally the black community behind a single candidate.
"The last thing we need as African Americans is a bitter mayoral race where three African Americans split the African American vote," said Meeks Sunday at his South Side mega-church.
Meeks dropped out of the race last week one day meeting with fellow Democratic African American mayoral candidates Congressman Danny Davis and former U.S. senator Carol Moseley Braun.
Both have said they will not drop out of the race.
"This is not about one side of town against another side of town," said Braun. "The consensus candidate is going to come out of this process, and that will be the candidate the whole city wants."