Third party formed to challenge indicted pol

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A group of Chicago Democrats led by Secretary of State Jesse White have formulated a plan to field a third-party candidate to challenge indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A group of Chicago Democrats led by Secretary of State Jesse White have formulated a plan to field a third-party candidate to challenge indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.

White spokesman Dave Druker said Monday the 10th District Unity Party will begin conducting interviews for candidates next week. The move was triggered by Smith’s refusal to step down following his federal bribery indictment.

Smith is accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for writing a letter supporting a state grant for a day care operation. Authorities say it was an FBI sting with the undercover informant wearing a recorder.

Although he has pleaded not guilty to the charges, a House committee is reviewing the matter for possible punishment, which could include expulsion.

Smith’s lawyer, Victor Henderson, refused to comment Monday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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