Chicago Democratic Leaders Will Create a Minor Party in a Single Legislative District This Year to Oust a Democratic Incumbent Who Has Been Indicted

On March 13, the federal government charged Illinois Democratic State Representative Derrick Smith with bribery. Nevertheless, on March 20, Smith was renominated in the Democratic primary. His only opponent in the Democratic primary in the 10th district was Tom Swiss, a former executive director of the Cook County Republican Party. Also, the district is majority black, and Swiss is white.

Democratic Party leaders supported Smith in the Democratic primary, because they didn’t want an individual winning the Democratic primary who was, apparently, loyal to the Republican Party. But they hoped to persuade Smith to withdraw after the primary was over. However, he says he is innocent, and has pleaded not guilty, and he won’t withdraw. So Democratic Party leaders now plan to create the Tenth District Unity Party and place it on the November ballot. On May 22 the leaders of this new party will choose a nominee. Six candidates have applied for the new party’s nomination. See this story. The new party will need a petition of 1,500 names. If it gets at least 5% of the vote in November, it will also be ballot-qualified in 2014. It is somewhat likely that the nominee of this new party will win the November election. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

6 comments

  1. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    “If it gets at least 5% of the vote in November, it will also be ballot-qualified in 2014.”

    It will be interesting to see what happens to that ballot spot.

  2. […] to run another candidate against the Democratic candidate in their local State House District. This post at Ballot Access News explains the situation. On March 13, the federal government charged Illinois Democratic State […]

  3. james? · · Reply

    it strikes me the whole primary system is the problem with ballot acess in the us. if members of political parties chose there own candidates and the state played no part in candidate selection you wouldnt need these ridiclous laws to define who is and who is not a party and could make it a lot easier to stand. also you wouldnt have this ridicoulous situation of parties not controlling who there own candidates are. http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2012/05/ballot-acces contains some things that made me think this way

  4. It would also save everyone a lot of money and a lot of grief.

  5. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #3 That is the value of the Open Primary – individual candidates qualify. If parties wish to support some candidates they may.

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