Despite his arrest on a felony bribery charge earlier this year, state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) was re-elected in Tuesday's election.
In Illinois' heavily Democratic, 10th legislative district, Smith was challenged by independent candidate Lance Tyson, who was endorsed by Governor Pat Quinn and Secretary of State Jesse White. Smith still managed to win 62 percent of the district's vote with 72 percent of precincts reporting. As of that time, Tyson had won 38 percent support.
Smith was expelled by his colleagues in the state House of Representatives in August in the first such vote in over a century. The Chicago Democrat was arrested in March after he allegedly accepted a $7,000 cash bribe to write an official letter of support for a fictional daycare center that he believed was seeking a state grant. According to the criminal complaint, the informant working with the FBI delivered an envelope filled with the cash to Smith, which he accepted.
One week after Smith was charged with accepting the daycare center bribe, he still managed to win the support of about 76 percent of the vote in the state Democratic primary over Tom Swiss, former chairman of the Cook County Republican party. Prior to that vote, a coalition of Chicago Democrats urged primary voters to re-elect Smith despite the controversy.
Smith has continually maintained his innocence, even as White recently proclaimed that Smith's issues were "ugly for this district, it's ugly for this city and it's ugly for this state." Once re-elected, a state lawmaker in Illinois cannot be re-expelled by his or her peers for the same reason as a previous expulsion.