Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Kennedy Announces Running Mate, Ra Joy

CHICAGO (CBS) — Democratic Governor’s Candidate Chris Kennedy unveiled his running mate on Thursday.

He is a government reform activist with whom Kennedy shares a tragic bond. CBS 2’s Political Reporter Derrick Blakley reports.

Fourty-four-year-old Ra Joy shares a painful, personal link with Chris Kennedy.

“The issue of gun violence connects us and our families,” said Ra Joy, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate.

Last June, Joy’s son, Xavier was gunned down just blocks from the family’s Woodlawn home.

“We endured any parent’s worst nightmare. June 9 was the worst day in my life,” Joy said.

And Kennedy, of course, lost both his father and uncle to political assassins.

“For many people, the violence that’s occurring in our city and around the state is just an amplification that the government doesn’t care. It’s not doing enough,” Kennedy said.

Joy said Kennedy’s commitment to attacking violence, and reforming Illinois government, attracted him to Kennedy’s team.

“We have a system where a really small handful of political insiders wield disproportionate power and influence,” Joy said.

Joy was formerly executive director of Change Illinois, which scored a major victory when Governor Rauner signed automatic voter registration for licensed drivers.

“I have proven experience forging alliances, building partnerships and creating wins,” he said.

Kennedy and his supporters see his running mate selection as an opportunity to re-energize his campaign and underline his self-styled image as an outsider challenging the status quo.

The other major candidates battling for the democratic nomination for Governor are businessman JB Pritzker, State Senator Daniel Biss and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar.

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