Fitzgerald Says He's Disappointed Da Coach Isn't Running

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Ditka Wednesday said he's taking a pass on the race, leaving Illinois Republicans to continue their search for a candidate to replace Jack Ryan.

In Washington Thursday, Fitzgerald told The Associated Press that Ditka would have made a great candidate. He says he thinks Ditka could have won because people "would have loved his authenticity and his commonsense approach."

But Fitzgerald also says he understands that it would have been a big sacrifice for Ditka to make because he'd have to give up his career in business and sports broadcasting.