Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Bribery Charge Doesn't Stop Easy Smith Win




    A federal bribery charge didn't stop Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) from easily winning the Democratic nomination for the 10th District.

    The Illinois state representative was accused last week of taking a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for a writing a letter of support for a daycare center he believed was seeking a state grant.

    According to federal authorities, one of Smith's former campaign workers, who was working with investigators, approached Smith with information about a day care owner who was seeking a state grant to make repairs on the facility.

    That didn't seem to matter much to Democrats, who rallied behind Smith over the weekend and continued to donate to his campaign. Michael Madigan's political committee provided more than $60,000.

    U.S. Rep. Danny Davis on Sunday begged 10th District voters to ignore Smith’s bribery arrest in the name of partisan loyalty.

    They listened.

    Smith beat Republican-turned-Democrat challenger Tom Swiss with 77 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.

    Smith was appointed to the House in 2011. He was released last week on a $4,500 signature bond after appearing in court following his arrest on federal bribery charges.