CHICAGO
03/25/2011 09:38 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Patricia Watkins Snubbed As Derrick Smith Replaces Annazette Collins In State House

The cascading vacancies caused by the abrupt retirement of Senator Rickey Hendon have finally dried up, and Dr. Patricia Watkins has officially reaped none of the rewards.

Most recently a candidate in the Chicago mayoral race, Dr. Watkins was one of the finalists considered to replace Hendon in the Illinois Senate. But State Rep. Annazette Collins ultimately won that post, in a decision by Democratic party leaders announced a week ago.

Collins won largely thanks to the backing of Alderman Sharon Denise Dixon, who had heavy sway in the back-room process. But Collins's own seat in the State House still needed to be filled, and Dr. Watkins was viewed as a likely contender for that position. Secretary of State Jesse White led the panel of committeemen making the decision for Collins's seat, and White had supported Watkins in the Senate bid.

The Chicago Journal described Watkins's chances of winning the seat as "excellent."

Instead, though, White went within his own office to fill Collins's seat. He and the panel picked Derrick Smith, the director of accounting revenue at the Secretary of State's office, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Other candidates for the House seat included lobbyist Jonathan Goldman and Angelique Collins, daughter of Annazette, according to the Tribune.