Third party legislative candidate lobbies for Democratic support against indicted opponent

October 2, 2012

Download Story
(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Lance Tyson, left, is joined by Democratic elected officials at a news conference Tuesday at Chicago’s City Hall.

A campaign happening on Chicago’s West Side is getting more attention from Democrats than the average November election.

Chicago attorney Lance Tyson said he recently gained the support of the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“I’m expecting, as he made the commitment to me, to be able to reach out to folks to help raise money and he has delivered on that,” Tyson told reporters Tuesday.

Madigan’s support is notable because Tyson has to run as a third-party candidate in his race for state representative in Illinois’ 10th district, which is a heavily Democratic. Tyson has the support of many Democratic elected officials, but he wants money and manpower to educate voters about his opponent.

That would be Derrick Smith, who is labeled as the Democrat on the ballot. Smith won the primary in March, but was kicked out of his seat in August, after being arrested for allegedly taking a bribe.

Smith has pleaded not guilty and wants the 10th district seat back.

A recent poll showed the indicted Smith has a wide lead over Tyson.

Tyson said the poll was a wake up call to Chicago Democrats to support his campaign.

“We’re gonna need to pump a lot of money into the district to make sure that folks know the difference,” Tyson said.

Smith has said he won the primary and is the Democratic candidate in the race.