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Potential Mayoral Picks Narrowed To Meeks, Braun

CHICAGO (CBS) - A coalition of African-American leaders has narrowed its choices for a consensus candidate for mayor down to two finalists.

Former U.S. Senator and 2004 presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun, and Illinois State Senator and Salem Baptist Church Pastor James Meeks are the finalists for an African-American mayoral candidate, sources told CBS 2.

The Chicago Coalition for Mayor – an organization of more than 20 African-American businesses and interest groups – has been in the process of selecting a consensus candidate, so as not to have two African-American candidates splitting the vote.

As of Saturday, there were four finalists – Braun, Meeks, trial attorney Larry Rogers Jr., and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) But sources told CBS 2 that Braun and Meeks impressed the coalition sufficiently with their presentations over the weekend that they were picked to move to the next round.

Meeks has said his "candidacy is all but official" and he already has a campaign team in place. He plans to announce right after the Nov. 2 election and has indicated before that he might run regardless of whether he's picked by the coalition.

Braun has raised the eyebrows of many and perhaps the ire of some, by hiring high-profile consultants like Victor Reyes, Daley's former political operative, and Mike Noonan, a former political aide to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Davis, on the other hand, previously said he'd run only if he's the consensus candidate.

The coalition has been working for weeks to interview potential candidates, but a decision still isn't expected anytime soon.

CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.

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