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Gun charge or not, Dems not giving up on Trotter just yet.

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trotter_mug_dec5.jpgDespite his arrest on gun charges, party leaders were not ready to back away from state Sen. Donne Trotter late Wednesday and his aspirations for higher office, saying they were awaiting more facts.

"I need to sit down and talk to him face to face and find out what exactly happened," said Frank Zuccarelli, who is chairing the effort to slate a candidate for the 2nd congressional district. The special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. is scheduled for February and the field is growing by the day. Before his arrest, Trotter, who lives on the South Side, was thought to be a top-tier candidate.

Zuccarelli, who is the committeeman for Thornton Township, has publicly said he would back Trotter during slating. So far on Wednesday, that hadn't changed.

"I am supporting him and he is my friend, I'm sure there is a good explanation for what happened," said Zuccarelli. He said he had only communicated with Trotter by text. Trotter let him know he had been arrested. "We have to sit down and talk...I'm sure he's together, Donne's together. I've got confidence in him, he's a good man."

The head of the Cook County Democratic Party, Joe Berrios, said ultimately it would be up to Trotter to decide if he's going to pull out of the race.

"It's not for me to determine whether he wants to run or not," said Joe Berrios, the head of Cook County Democratic Party. "The committeemen will take that into consideration. If it is a felony, he would have to stand trial. At the end of the day, it's going to be his decision. All I know, is he is a state senator, and a very good one."

Zuccarelli said he last saw Trotter late Tuesday at a Thornton Township meeting that began at 8 p.m.

Trotter was arrested Wednesday, charged with attempting to bring a handgun onto a place at O'Hare Airport, Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. Trotter had explained he had been at a job with a security firm the night before and forgot he had the weapon and some ammunition in his bag.

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