House race puts Illinois candidate's job in jeopardy
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: An Independent candidate running to replace resigned Democratic U.S. Representative from Illinois Jesse Jackson, Jr. has learned that he is danger of losing his job as a result of his special election bid. Marcus Lewis is a Postal Service employee and is thus included under the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from running for a partisan office. Lewis could end his campaign to put a stop to any legal action being taken against him, but he has refused.
Lewis has argued that the Hatch Act refers only to candidates of a political party, not independents. Additionally, he has stated that he hopes the controversy over his candidacy might get him more votes. He said, " I’m running as ‘Mr. Lewis goes to Washington,’ just like Mr. Smith went to Washington, and this shows that the people in power don’t want ordinary citizens running for office. I figure people will identify with that and vote for me."
Lewis also sought the 2nd District seat in last November's general election. He lost to Jackson, the incumbent, but made an impressive showing for an independent candidate, garnering 13.5% of the vote in an election with a fairly low turnout.
- Illinois' 2nd Congressional District special election, 2013
- United States Congress special elections, 2013-2014
- Marcus Lewis