Ex-Death Row Inmate Loses Illinois House Primary


Former Illinois death row inmate Aaron Patterson was soundly defeated yesterday in his campaign to shake the establishment and go to the Illinois House, says the Chicago Tribune. Patterson, who used past and present street gang members as campaign workers, finished third in a field of three Democrats that included incumbent freshman Rep. Patricia Bailey, the winner, who may not live in the district.

Patterson sought to parlay the fame from being pardoned last year from death row into a legislative seat. His candidacy is believed to be the first case in the state–and perhaps the nation–of a former death row inmate seeking elective office.

Bailey easily outpaced Patterson, who placed third behind Jerry Washington, a former state representative.

Patterson said he has no plans to run for office again and attributed his loss to lack of money and voter apathy. “People say they want change, but they really don’t,” Patterson said. “Our people, in particular, black folks, are complacent with the status quo. They don’t want to make waves. They don’t want to make radical change.”

Bailey’s win came despite a report that she appears to live outside the district. Neighbors said she lives in her mother’s home. The address listed on her voter registration is a nearly vacant church-owned apartment building where the landlords say she does not live.

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0403170185mar17,1,5132229.story?coll=chi-news-hed

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