Three Third Party Candidates Running In Special Congressional Election in Illinois

On February 26th, the Democratic and Republican primaries for the special congressional election to replaced disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. were held. Robin Kelly won the Democratic primary with 51% of the vote, while Republican Paul McKinley held a 23 vote lead in a race still uncalled. The district is heavily black and Democratic, and the Democratic nominee is all but assured of victory in the general election.

However, three third party candidates have also entered the fray. All three hold left-wing views, and could potentially cut in to Robin Kelly’s support.

LeAlan Jones – the Green Party candidate. Jones is a football coach and journalist who produced award winning radio broadcast for NPR chronicling his life as a young boy in some of the city’s worst ghettos. He was the 2010 GP candidate in the race for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. Despite polling as high as 14% in June, in November Jones received only 3.18% of the vote, or 117,914 votes. The Illinois Green Party has filed a lawsuit on his behalf against procedures for getting on the ballot (

Marcus Lewis – independent candidate. He ran against Jesse Jackson Jr. in 2012 and received 13.5% of the vote. His strong showing was likely borne out of Jesse Jackson Jr.’s prolonged absence from Congress and legal troubles. Jackson resigned about 2 weeks after the election. Like the GOP candidate, he criticizes the Democratic “machine” and corruption in the party that has such a stranglehold over city politics, especially in the 2nd district. He claims on his campaign website that “I should be Marcus Lewis Congressman-Elect right now had the 181,000 plus voters for Jackson had realized he was just pulling their chain and revealed he was plea bargaining before the election.”

John Hawkins – Socialist Workers Party candidate. The least is know about this candidate of all the 3rd party contenders, and he does not possess a campaign website. According to a December 2012 Ballot Access News article, it is not even know if he plans to obtain enough signatures to get a place on the ballot.

12 thoughts on “Three Third Party Candidates Running In Special Congressional Election in Illinois

  1. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Since there is no Libertarian or CPer running in this very liberal district, I will support GOP candidate Paul McKinley in this race. Any Republican challenging the corrupt Democratic machine in this ravaged city deserves support.

    Hell, I am the campaign manager for one. David Earl Williams III is a libertarian Republican running in the 2nd district of IL against Jan Schakowsky, one of the most socialist members of Congress. Williams is the FIRST GOP candidate to be endorsed by Liberty Candidates and Gigi Bowman of the 2014 cycle. Of special note to the third party folks here on IPR – Williams voted for Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential election 😉

  2. Steven Wilson

    Stephanie Sailor ran in this area for the Illinois LP a few times. The corruption is so wide spread it is not called corruption. It is called normal.

    Good luck with it.

  3. Richard Winger

    The Socialist Workers Party candidate is a write-in candidate.

    No one yet knows if LeAlan Jones will be on the ballot. His petition has been challenged, and the hearing on that is March 7. The challenger’s action may be invalid on the grounds that she may not live in the district.

  4. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    I would support the Green candidate any day over McKinley now that I found out he’s an ex felon and some of the really unlibertarian aspects of his platform… I think Jones will do really well.

  5. Jed Siple

    I endorse LeAlan Jones for this seat. I would NEVER endorse a major party candidate if a minor party/independent candidate is in the race.

  6. johnO

    LeAlan Jones should get more votes than the R primary nominee(Mckinley). The D nominee, Robin Kelly, will probably get most votes by virtue of the district-but I’m hoping the Greens(Jones) does the impossible and wins. At least gives the district a real choice.

  7. paulie

    If the Greens make it competitive that would be excellent. LP should have at least tried to see if someone would file and not get challenged. Maybe they did and didn’t find anyone.

  8. Steven Wilson

    At John O and Paulie,

    I was in Illinois and helped with Harry Browne in 2000. This is what I know about Illinois. It is almost as awful as Oklahoma.

    Ballot access battles take their toll on people. Julie Fox and Thomas Hill are champions in Illinois, but you need to pick and choose wisely.

    They fought the past few years to get on the ballot but were unable to get to the threshold of percentage to remain.

    Some people would run for office, IF they had ballot access guaranteed. That is not the case in Illinois. The courts can remove people at will.

    To work and work only to get nothing in the end hurts like hell. Julie and Thomas work their butts off. It is better to rest and fight another day. Just my opinion.

  9. paulie

    I did both Illinois and Oklahoma in 2000.

    I also worked Illinois in 2004, 2008 and a little bit in 2012.

    Oklahoma is worse. Take my word for it.

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