Derrick Smith

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Derrick Smith
Derrick Smith.jpg
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
In office
January 9, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 14, 2015
Years in position 2
Base salary$67,836/year
Per diem$111/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
AppointedMarch 24, 2011
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
March 24, 2011-August 17, 2012
Associate'sMalcolm X Junior College, 2003
Bachelor'sDePaul University, 2005
Office website
Campaign website
Derrick Smith is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 10 since 2013. He previously represented District 10 from March 2011 until he was expelled from the legislature on August 17, 2012.[1] He was elected to return to his seat in the 2012 elections.[2]

Smith earned his associate's degree in Liberal Arts from Malcolm X Junior College in 2003. He went on to receive his bachelor's from DePaul University in 2005.


Campaign themes


Smith's campaign website lists the following issues:[3]

  • 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."

Bribery charges

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.[4]

Smith's primary opponent, Tom Swiss, called for Smith's resignation and withdrawal from the primary election.[4] 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. However, after winning the primary, Smith refused to step down.[5]

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.[5]

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 intends to stay on the ballot.[6]

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.[7]

Smith campaigned for re-election, reminding voters via campaign literature in this overwhelmingly Democratic district that he was the Democratic nominee in the race.[8] 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."[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[2] 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.[8]

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:



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.[12][13][14]

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


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."[15][16]


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. [16]

Recent news

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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 The Huffington Post, "Derrick Smith Reelected: Indicted Illinois State Rep Credits 'Will Of The People' For Tuesday Win," November 9, 2012
  3. Campaign website, Issues
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Feds: State Rep. Derrick Smith took $7,000 bribe", March 13, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Illinois House poised to expel one of their own over bribery," July 20, 2012
  6. "Illinois House Votes 100-6 to Expel Rep. Derrick Smith," August 17, 2012
  7. The Chicago Tribune, "Indicted Illinois lawmaker expelled from House remains in race for former seat," November 2, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 WBEZ, "Derrick Smith's attorney compares him to Jesus, thinks feds might be targeting Jesse White," November 8, 2012
  9. Lance Tyson, accessed November 17, 2012
  10. Medill Reports Chicago, "Lack of voter awareness, plus party politics re-elected Smith," November 8, 2012
  11. The Chicago Tribune, "Lawmaker seeks way to oust Smith again," November 9, 2012
  12. Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List," December 5, 2011
  13. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Official 2012 Primary Results"
  14. Illinois State Board of Elections, “Official Vote - November 6, 2012 General Election,” accessed January 18, 2013
  15. Illinois Opportunity Project, "The Project," accessed February 21, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Illinois Opportunity Project, Legislative Vote Card home page, accessed February 21, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Eddie Winters (D)
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Annazette Collins (D)
Illinois House of Representatives District 10
Succeeded by
Eddie Winters (D)