LeAlan Jones, 2010 Ill. Green US Senate candidate, plans to run for state house

In 2010, LeAlan Jones ran a notable US Senate campaign for Barack Obama’s former seat.  He started his radio journalism career at age 13 with his piece “Ghetto Life 101,” so he already had considerable name recognition going into it.  At one point he polled 14 percent overall and well over 20 percent among his fellow African Americans.  However, the election did not turn out in his favor, and he failed to get even close to five percent of the vote.  However, after some reflection (and criticism from others on his going straight for the top) revealed in this piece about African American candidates in Illinois, Jones has decided to run for the Illinois state house.  It’s unclear whether that will be with the Democrats or the Green Party, although he has said in the past that he would like the Green Party to invest considerably more energy into any future campaign of his.

As smart as Jones is, adds Hartman, he was not smart about running for office.  “Why don’t you sit down and think about a strategy?” she asked him. “Why don’t you study Barack Obama? He had a plan. He wasn’t jumping up to run for anything that popped up in front of him. He was running for what he could win. Start with the state Senate, or an aldermanic seat. You don’t walk into a company and say, `I’m an intern, and I’m applying to be President.’”

Jones has accepted her advice. He told me in a telephone conversation Sunday evening that while he doesn’t regret running for the U.S. Senate—he said he got statewide name recognition that would have cost him millions in advertising to replicate—his next race will be for a seat in the Illinois House. He is angling to be appointed to the 26th District seat now occupied by Will Burns, who won the 4th Ward aldermanic race—the seat held by Toni Preckwinkle. Burns will resign his seat on May 16th. The Democratic committeemen—one of them Preckwinkle, now President of the Cook County Board—will decide who serves out the rest of Burns’ term. If Jones doesn’t get the 26th District appointment—he acknowledges “residency issues” since he currently lives in the 31st District—he says he will start planning for 2012. He’ll run in the 31st District against Rep. Mary Flowers, 59, a member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

3 thoughts on “LeAlan Jones, 2010 Ill. Green US Senate candidate, plans to run for state house

  1. Independent Green Party News

    Well the guy was a superb Green Party candidate.

    He’s run once for office.

    It takes several more attempts before most candidates really understand the process.

    Right not he seems to have an exaggerated notion of what the Green Party “organization” is capable of doing.

    Still he’d be a great Green candidate.

    Based on three decades of Green Party experience…

    If he tried to run as a candidate for one of the two larger parties, they would set him up to fail to win the nomination.

    He is best served, the voters, America, and the world are best served if he runs as a Green Party candidate in the general election.

  2. Dave Schwab

    Following the Illinois elections in 2008 and 2010, I became convinced that the IL Democratic and Republican parties are little more than rival crime syndicates defending their monopoly on power and its accompanying spoils. The primary process in the corporate-sponsored parties is heavily biased against honest, straightforward people like LeAlan Jones, and the few genuine ones who make it through are usually co-opted by their party, like Dennis Kucinich.

    What Illinois and other states need is not a few good apples in a rotten system, but a crack in the wall of the entire anti-competitive political establishment. Based on LeAlan Jones’ campaign statements, he seems to understand this, and I hope that he and other Illinois Greens will continue to work towards that breakthrough we so desperately need.

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