Monday, July 23, 2012
Ballot Opponents Poised To Battle Indicted Legislator
Indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith will be on the ballot come November. His challengers? Well, no one knows for sure. Objections are pending for the filing petitions of all three challengers for the incumbent’s seat. In an ironic twist, no objections were filed against the petition for Smith, who may be kicked out of the House in the coming weeks.
One challenger, Lance Tyson, appears poised to give Smith a run for his money in November. Tyson is a Democrat – just like Smith. Both are black candidates in a predominantly black, predominantly low-income but historically well-organized 10th House District on Chicago’s west side. Here’s the rub: Tyson has the backing of the state’s Democratic machine but the word “Democrat” won’t come after jhis name on the ballot. “Unity Party,” is the group Democrats set up when they chose to run Tyson against the embattled Smith in an effort to retain control of the seat.
“Tyson is favored to win, even though the Democrats will have to do considerable work to make sure the voters in the district know the true Democratic candidate,” said Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman. “My assumption is Smith isn’t going to campaign because he’ll be busy fighting his corruption charge. He hasn’t been much of a state legislator, so I don’t expect him to be much of a campaigner,” he said..
“Smith really has no chance of getting re-elected,” said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield. “He has no support from the Ward organizations in the district and will not be able to raise any money from interest groups, who will not want to have their names on campaign disclosure documents as having given him money.”
Smith’s Republican challenger is Kimberly Small, a moderate and a businesswoman. No records could be found about her campaign at the Illinois Board of Elections. Joseph W. Sneed Jr. is also running against Smith as an independent. His last campaign filing was in March for the quarter ending Dec. 30. At that time his fund had $128.
Smith's accused of soliciting a bribe but hasn't been tried yet.
You can read Jayette's full report at: http://watchdog.org/42744/il-unity-party-democrat-poised-to-give-smith-a-run-for-his-money/