CHICAGO (CBS) — Followers of the Rod Blagojevich saga would recognize the name and face.
Now, Aaron Goldstein, the convicted ex-governor’s defense attorney, wants to make the jump from law into politics.
As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, Goldstein is running for Illinois state representative.
For now, Goldstein needs to get gather enough voter signatures to get his name on the ballot.
“You want to be the the first one to sign my petition?” Goldstein asks a potential voter as the longtime lawyer pounds the pavement seeking support.
Goldstein, who is married with two kids, was born and raised in Chicago. He’s a former Cook County public defender and currently in private practice.
He’s better known as Blajojevich’s defense attorney.
Now, he wants to be the next 40th District state representative.
That’s Deb Mell’s old seat. She stepped down to take over as a Chicago alderman after her father, Dick Mell, stepped down after more than 30 years in that office.
The Mells are both Blagojevich’s in-laws.
The House seat is now occupied by Jaime Andrade, Dick Mell’s former aide.
He was appointed after Deb Mell moved to City Council.
Some call that the old “Chicago Way”–passing along plum appointments to longtime, loyal political cronies.
Running against the Mell-annointed Andrade could be tough, given the Mells political clout and campaign fundraising muscle.
Andrade and Deb Mell refused to comment.
But fighting the Mell dynasty might not be Goldstein’s only hurdle.
“I think he’s got some baggage. He’s going to have to deal with if he was a defense attorney for Blagojevich,” said resident Maura Nugent.
Goldstein dismisses that analysis.
“I’m proud of my representation of Mr. Blagojevich. “I did everything I could and fought as hard as a I could. What I believed in was the Constitution and the process that he deserved.”
“We all jumped quick to paint him guilty and that wasn’t the way the system worked and I stood up for that.”
Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison term after being convicted on corruption charges, including a scheme to sell President Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat in return for campaign donations.