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Derrick Smith Challenger: Lance Tyson, Chicago Attorney, Will Run Against Indicted Lawmaker

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Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, listens to fellow lawmakers while attending a legislative committee hearing investigating whether Smith should be disciplined over a bribery charge at the Illinois State Capitol Thursday, May 10, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Smith refused to answer the legislative panel's questions, but he insisted he is innocent. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, listens to fellow lawmakers while attending a legislative committee hearing investigating whether Smith should be disciplined over a bribery charge at the Illinois State Capitol Thursday, May 10, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Smith refused to answer the legislative panel's questions, but he insisted he is innocent. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

A 40-year-old finance attorney has thrown his hat into the ring as a possible successor to indicted Illinois state representative Derrick Smith.

Lance Tyson, who served as County Board President Todd Stroger's chief of staff, announced his bid Sunday.

"Families across the 10th Legislative District, families just like mine, deserve a better choice than what they currently have. It is my intention to provide them with that choice," Tyson said in a statement. "Now is not the time for on the job training -- Now is not the time to have an official distracted by a criminal trial, now is the time for a leader committed to doing the job."

Tyson said in a statement that he has the support of a broad swath of area political leaders, including City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Alderman Joe Moreno (1st), Cook County Commissioners Robert Steele, John Fritchey and John Daley. He said in the release that he would challenge Smith as a third-party candidate if need be.

Smith was indicted in March on a federal corruption charge -- that he allegedly accepted a $7,000 cash bribe from a fictional daycare center in return for writing an official letter of support for its bid for a $50,000 state grant.

(Scroll down to watch a report on the accusations facing Smith.)

Despite the accusation, Smith won the Democratic primary, defeating former Cook County Republican party chairman Tom Swiss.

During a state House hearing late last week, Smith maintained his innocence in the matter and ignored the numerous calls for him to step down, vowing to "continue to represent the interests of people in the district," NBC Chicago reports. He has refused to testify in the ongoing hearing.

"As the people in the district did not abandon me, I will not abandon them," Smith added.

If convicted, Smith could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

WATCH a report on Smith's hearing:

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

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