CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) says he will do everything he can to prevent Rep. Derrick Smith from being reelected.
As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, the state House of Representatives voted 100 to 6 last month to expel Smith, with three members voting present. Smith is under indictment for allegedly taking a $7,000 cash bribe on videotape.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
“I think that would be an embarrassment – a huge embarrassment – to the state of Illinois” if Smith is reelected, Raoul said.
Raoul said he will try to block Smith by getting out the word about his opponent: Lance Tyson who’s a public finance lawyer with experience in government relations. Raoul said he will try to help Tyson with fund raising, and by donating some of his own funds to Tyson’s race against Smith.
Smith’s attorney, Victor Henderson, said called Raoul trying to prevent Smith’s reelection a “tragedy.”
“Why’s he poking his nose in house business?” Henderson said, adding, “The fact that Kwame is doing it stinks to high heaven, because it shows he’s doing someone else’s work — the powers that be in Springfield.”
Henderson said Raoul’s choice to work against Smith is proof that the state senator has been in Springfield too long.
Henderson said he hopes that Sen. Raoul’s intercession does NOT work, and does not undermine an honest effort by Smith to regain his seat.
Efforts to reach Smith directly were not successful.
Smith stands charged with accepting the bribe in exchange for his endorsement of what he thought was a daycare center’s state grant application.
Eddie Winters, a Chicago Police officer, was selected by Democratic leaders to fill Smith’s seat until the November election.