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updated: 5/23/2012 6:16 PM

Chicago Democrats choose candidate to take on Smith

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  • State Rep. Derrick Smith has been accused of accepting $7,000 in exchange for his support of a grant application.

      State Rep. Derrick Smith has been accused of accepting $7,000 in exchange for his support of a grant application.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

A lawyer and aide to former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has been chosen by Chicago Democrats as a third-party candidate to challenge indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.

The group led by Secretary of State Jesse White met Wednesday. They've been vetting candidates for the newly formed 10th District Unity Party.

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Smith is charged with bribery and denies any wrongdoing. He won the Democratic nomination in the March primary days after his arrest.

He's refused to step down, leading Democrats to seek a third-party candidate for November.

Lance Tyson was former chief of staff to Stroger whose administration was marked by allegations of corruption and ethical lapses. Stroger himself hasn't faced charges.

Tyson told the committee that he resigned after less than two years because his interests diverged with Stroger's.

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