CHICAGO (AP) — Punching a straight Democratic ticket on Election Day has been a Chicago tradition for decades.
But this November, the automatic vote is turning out to be a little too dependable for the state's Democratic leaders. The feared victory Tuesday of a former state lawmaker indicted on federal bribery charges has party leaders scrambling to defeat one of their own.
Former state Rep. Derrick Smith is trying to regain his seat in the Illinois House. He has pleaded not guilty.
Officials including the governor and secretary of state worry that a Smith victory could be another embarrassment in a city and state with a reputation for corruption.
They've backing another Democrat, Lance Tyson, who's running under the "Unity Party" banner.
Political consultant Delmarie Cobb says Tyson faces an uphill battle.