Difference between revisions of "Derrick Smith"

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Revision as of 14:49, 25 August 2014

Derrick Smith
Derrick Smith.jpg
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
Former Member
In office
January 9, 2013-June 10, 2014
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Associate'sMalcolm X Junior College (2003)
Bachelor'sDePaul University (2005 )
Place of birthChicago, IL
Campaign website
Derrick Smith is a former Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 10 from January 2013 to June 10, 2014, and previously from March 24, 2011, to August 17, 2012. He was expelled from the legislature twice in connection to bribery charges: once on August 17, 2012 and again on June 10, 2014. His expulsion in August 2012 by the other members of the chamber was the first in 107 years. The expulsion in June 2014 was automatically triggered by state law after Smith was convicted of bribery.[1][2] He was elected to return to his seat in the 2012 elections following his first expulsion.[3]


Smith earned his Bachelor's from DePaul University in 2005. His professional experience includes working as the Deputy Director of Accounting Revenue for the Secretary of State’s Office before becoming a state representative.[4]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:

Illinois Committee Assignments, 2013
Appropriations-Public Safety
Consumer Protection
Human Services, Vice-chair
Tourism & Conventions


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Smith served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Smith's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[5]

  • Jobs and Economic Development
Excerpt: "I am focusing on saving and creating jobs for our community and promoting economic development."
  • Education
Excerpt: "I understand the importance of a quality education for our children and for our adults. I want to be a strong supporter of improving our schools, keeping them open, and ensuring that schools and our kids have the right resources like computers and up-to-date books."
  • Seniors
Excerpt: "I will be a strong advocate for Seniors, ensuring that they receive the care and support they deserve and push legislation that protects their interests."
  • Youth and Young Adults
Excerpt: "The Youth are our future. I want to create a Youth agenda. An agenda that creates opportunities for our kids and young adults to have a brighter future."
  • Public Safety
Excerpt: "I want to work on strengthening the laws that protect us and work with other local officials like our aldermen to ensure our neighborhoods get a fair amount of policing and that the police are there to protect us."



See also: Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Illinois House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 18, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was December 2, 2013. Pamela Reaves-Harris defeated incumbent Derrick Smith, Beverly Perteet, Eddie Winters and Antwan D. Hampton in the Democratic primary, while Mark Calonder ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Reaves-Harris then defeated Calonder in the general election.[6][7][8][9]

Illinois House of Representatives District 10, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPamela Reaves-Harris 85.3% 21,102
     Republican Mark Calonder 14.7% 3,638
Total Votes 24,740


See also: Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2012

Smith won election in the 2012 election for Illinois House of Representatives District 10. Smith defeated Tom Swiss in the March 20 Democratic primary and defeated Lance Tyson (10th District Unity) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[10][11][12]

Illinois House of Representatives, District 10, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDerrick Smith 62.9% 25,417
     10th District Unity Lance Tyson 37.1% 15,007
Total Votes 40,424
Illinois House of Representatives, District 10 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDerrick Smith Incumbent 76.8% 7,247
Tom Swiss 23.2% 2,193
Total Votes 9,440

Campaign contributions

Comprehensive donor information for Smith is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Smith raised a total of $235,094 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 18, 2013.[13]

Derrick Smith's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Illinois State House, District 10 Won $235,094
Grand Total Raised $235,094


Smith won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Smith raised a total of $235,094.


Illinois Opportunity Project

See also: Illinois Opportunity Project's Legislative Vote Card

The Illinois Opportunity Project, "an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds," annually releases its Legislative Vote Card, grading all members in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on the basis of their support of "pro-growth economic policies that increase personal freedom and reign in expansive government."[14][15]


Smith received a score of 0.00 out of 100 in 2012 for a grade of F according to the IOP’s grading scale. His score was tied for the lowest among all 120 members of the Illinois House of Representatives included in the Vote Card.[15]


Smith and his wife, Valerie, have three children. They reside in Chicago, IL.[4]



On March 13, 2012, Smith was arrested by federal agents and charged with bribery after he allegedly accepted $7,000 in return for supporting a $50,000 state grant to a day care center. Smith did not realize his deal was being struck with an undercover informant. The bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. He was released on a $4,500 personal bond.[16]

Smith's primary opponent, Tom Swiss, called for Smith's resignation and withdrawal from the primary election.[16] Democratic leaders encouraged voters to vote for him in the primary despite his arrest, with the idea that Smith would then take himself off the ballot so the party could appoint someone else to run in November. After winning the primary, however, Smith refused to step down.[17]

A disciplinary committee voted on July 19, 2012, to recommend that Smith be expelled from the House for allegedly accepting the bribe. House speaker Michael Madigan announced that the Legislature would return to Springfield in August to consider expelling Smith.[17]

On August 17, 2012, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 100-6 to expel Smith, the first time in 107 years that a member has been expelled. Smith announced that he intended to stay on the ballot.[18]

On June 10, 2014, Smith was convicted of accepting $7,000 in bribes just days before he won the 2012 Democratic primary. In accordance with state law, Smith was immediately expelled from the chamber for a second time. Because Smith lost in the 2014 Democratic primary, there is no chance for him to return to the legislature in 2015.[2]

Return to House

During the campaign, notable Democrats including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White campaigned for Smith's opponent in the general election, Lance Tyson. Tyson was drafted by the Democratic Party to run against Smith after it became clear that Smith would not step down. Tyson ran as a third party candidate under the "10th District Unity" label.[19]

Smith campaigned for re-election, reminding voters via campaign literature in this overwhelmingly Democratic district that he was the Democratic nominee in the race.[20] Tyson's website showed pictures of Tyson with Governor Quinn and United States President Barack Obama, and pointedly referred to Tyson as "The Real Democrat."[21]

Despite Democratic party efforts to oust Smith, he defeated Tyson with approximately 63 percent of the vote. Some informal polling and expert observers attributed Smith's victory to a lack of voter information. Professor Jaime Dominguez at Northwestern University suggested the Democratic party apparatus in the state did not work effectively and showed a lack of organization. Professor Paul Green at Roosevelt University attributed Smith's win to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of some Democratic leaders to oust him, especially those hoping to defeat him in the 2014 primary for his seat.[22]

Some lawmakers already were seeking news ways to oust the newly-elected Smith. However, the Illinois constitution does not allow the Illinois House of Representatives to expel a member twice for the same reason. Smith could still lose his seat, however, if Smith is found guilty in federal court.[23]

In a statement after the election, Smith said that he was willing to work with those politicians and legislators that voted to oust him and campaigned against him.[3] Smith's lawyers had stronger language, suggesting that Secretary of State White may come under federal investigation and referencing Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesus Christ to describe their client's situation.[20]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Chicago Tribune, "Secretary of State administrator chosen for West Side House seat," March 24, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chicago Tribune, "State Rep. Derrick Smith convicted of accepting $7,000 bribe," June 10, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Huffington Post, "Derrick Smith Re-elected: Indicted Illinois State Rep Credits 'Will Of The People' For Tuesday Win," November 9, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Project Vote Smart, "Derrick Smith's Biography," accessed February 14, 2014
  5. repderricksmith.com, "Issues," accessed June 10, 2014
  6. Illinois Secretary of State, "Official candidate list," accessed March 18, 2014
  7. Illinois Board of Elections, "General Primary Election Official Canvass," April 18, 2014
  8. Illinois Secretary of State, "Official general election candidate list," accessed March 18, 2014
  9. The Chicago Tribune, "Results List (Unofficial)," accessed November 5, 2014
  10. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Candidate List," accessed December 5, 2011
  11. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Official 2012 Primary Results," accessed May 14, 2014
  12. Illinois State Board of Elections, “Official Vote - November 6, 2012 General Election,” accessed January 18, 2013
  13. followthemoney.org, "Smith, Derrick," accessed July 18, 2013
  14. Illinois Opportunity Project, "The Project," accessed February 21, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 Illinois Opportunity Project, "Legislative Vote Card home page," accessed February 21, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 suntimes.com, "Feds: State Rep. Derrick Smith took $7,000 bribe," March 13, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 stltoday.com, "Illinois House poised to expel one of their own over bribery," July 20, 2012
  18. nbcchicago.com, "Illinois House Votes 100-6 to Expel Rep. Derrick Smith," August 17, 2012
  19. The Chicago Tribune, "Indicted Illinois lawmaker expelled from House remains in race for former seat," November 2, 2012
  20. 20.0 20.1 WBEZ, "Derrick Smith's attorney compares him to Jesus, thinks feds might be targeting Jesse White," November 8, 2012
  21. lancetyson.com, "Official campaign website," accessed November 17, 2012
  22. Medill Reports Chicago, "Lack of voter awareness, plus party politics re-elected Smith," November 8, 2012
  23. The Chicago Tribune, "Lawmaker seeks way to oust Smith again," November 9, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Eddie Winters (D)
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
2013–June 10, 2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Annazette Collins (D)
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
Succeeded by
Eddie Winters (D)