Paul McKinley, who served time for armed robbery and other felonies, is the apparent narrow winner of the low turnout Republican primary for the vacant Chicago-area Second Congressional District.
Paul McKinley, a grassroots community activist (and possibly a community organizer too), describes himself as an “ex-offender trying to prevent the next offender,” and he faces an uphill battle in the overwhelmingly Democrat district in the April 9 special election.
Given McKinley’s rap sheet, the so-called establishment Republicans in Illinois have found his apparent victory underwhelming, and he will likely have to campaign with no party support. Which may be to his advantage.
The “next offender” in McKinley’s view, moreover, is not necessarily his actual opponent, but more specifically the Chicago Democrat machine that’s been running things in the area for generations. Machine candidate Robin Kelly — who was helped by a huge amount of cash from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s gun control PAC — was the winner of the multi-candidate, low turnout Democrat primary and is obviously the favorite to win in April.
The seat in the US House of Representatives was formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr. who last month was charged with the federal crime of misusing campaign funds. He resigned from Congress in November after an extended medical leave.
During many campaign appearances with other candidates, McKinley “raged” against the machine and didn’t mince words. He insisted that if voters are happy with the Chicago-area boarded-up houses, the violent crime, the unemployment, and the cronyism and corruption under the former and present Chicago mayor, “vote for them, don’t vote for me.”
In one of his videos, McKinley insists that he wants to change tactics from a community activist on the outside to an elected official to fight the system from the inside and “dethrone those who have used this system to trample my community under foot, and to trample your community under foot.”
McKinley says he went through a process of “street repentance” after being released from jail.
Democrat Robin Kelley has some ethical baggage in her background as well according to the Chicago Tribune in connection with alleged timekeeping violations:
“After Robin Kelly lost a 2010 bid for state treasurer, the office’s chief investigator alleged she violated ethics laws by improperly reporting time off from her taxpayer-funded job as chief of staff to then-Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.”
Do you think the GOP standard bearer Paul McKinley has any chance whatsoever in the April 9 special election to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.? Do you think the voters in IL-02 will replace someone who may be on the way to jail with someone who has already been in jail?
Watch the unflappable Paul McKinley’s election night interview in which he is pressed on his controversial background as well as several other videos: