Illinois gov candidate drops running mate over ‘difference of opinion’

Illinois gov candidate drops running mate over ‘difference of opinion’
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A Democratic candidate for Illinois governor and his running mate have parted ways over a disagreement about a boycott of companies that do business with Israel. 

Illinois State Sen. Daniel Biss said in a statement Wednesday that he would move forward with a different running mate, after his first pick for lieutenant governor, Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, drew backlash for his support of a Palestinian-led campaign that called for a boycott of companies that do business with Israel. 

Biss had announced Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate less than a week earlier. 

"I strongly support a two-state solution. I support Israel’s right to exist, and I support Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people," Biss said in a statement. "I also care deeply about justice for Palestinians, and believe that a vision for the Middle East must include political and economic freedom for Palestinians."

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"That’s why I oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, as I believe it moves us further away from a peaceful solution," he added.

Biss said that Ramirez-Rosa had initially told him in his interview to become Biss's running mate that he opposed the BDS movement. "After much discussion, it’s become clear that Carlos’ position has changed," he said.

Ramirez-Rosa said in a Facebook post Wednesday that, while both men agree that a two-state solution is necessary for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, their disagreement on the boycott movement "would make it impossible to continue moving forward as a ticket."

"While I was honored to be chosen as Senator Daniel Biss’ gubernatorial running mate, it became clear over the past few days that while we share a total commitment to peace, security, and statehood for the Israeli and Palestinian people, and both oppose pursuing BDS at the state level, the difference of opinion we have on the role the BDS movement plays at the federal level would make it impossible to continue moving forward as a ticket," he wrote.