Smith, Tyson battle for 10th district Democratic votes - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Smith, Tyson battle for 10th district Democratic votes in Illinois

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The race to represent Illinois' 10th District pits embattled incumbent Derrick Smith against Lance Tyson.

Though Smith was expelled by his peers after federal investigators charged him of accepting a $7,000 bribe, the Democrat has pushed forward with his candidacy. He is also leading his opponent in recent polls.

Smith's election headquarters are stationed at well known West Side eatery, Wallace's Catfish corner, owned by former alderman Wallace Davis.

Davis himself was convicted of bribery and extortion more than two decades ago and served three years in federal prison.

He told FOX Chicago News that he supports Smith, the presumption of his innocence and is in constant communication with the indicted former state representative.

Though Smith has made it his mission to shield and avoid television cameras, he did recently phone in to WVON radio.

"I have not had my day in court. I'm innocent until proven guilty," Smith said over the phone. "I have not been to court. I don't know when I'm going to court."

Smith's opponent, Lance Tyson said he's the real Democrat running in the race, and the candidate of choice for the state's Democratic Party.

But he'll appear on the ballot as an Independent since Smith refused to step down.

Tyson, an attorney, is endorsed by Governor Pat Quinn and Secretary of State Jesse White. Should he win, offering a state tax credit to businesses hiring ex-offenders is his top priority.

"I've pledged," Tyson said on his website. "I've told families that I've talked to throughout the district that on Day One, I would be introducing a bill to create an ex-offender tax credit."

Smith lists jobs and economic development for the 10th District as his first priority - though platforms in this race are overshadowed by controversy.

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