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Democratic Gov. Candidate Chris Kennedy Picks Ra Joy For Lt. Governor

By aaroncynic in News on Sep 14, 2017 6:47PM

Chris Kennedy and Ra Joy. Photo via Kennedy For Illinois campaign website.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy formally announced his pick for Lieutenant Governor Thursday morning, confirming CHANGE Illinois Executive Director Ra Joy as his running mate after several news outlets first broke the story.

“I’ve known Ra for a long time and that willingness to battle, to fight for the things he thinks are right even though they’re not the way things are now is impressive to me,” says Kennedy in a newly released campaign video. “He was willing to put himself out there to fight for the notion that we should have a culture that’s willing to embrace change.”

“Instead of a government that serves all the people, we have a system that serves the very few. This disfunction is causing real pain for real people, and I want to do something about it,” says Joy.

Both Joy and Kennedy have had deep experiences with gun violence. Joy’s son, 23 year-old Xavier, was shot and killed in Woodlawn in June. Kennedy is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 during his presidential run.

“His family has experienced tragic loss because of senseless gun violence. He’s one of the few candidates who has a solution - an 8 point plan - to address the violence,” says Joy.

CHANGE Illinois is a coalition group that advocates for redistricting reform, automatic voter registration, and other electoral reforms.

In a fundraising email to supporters, Kennedy said that Joy’s work at the organization is “a shining example of the notion that, in a state with a broken system that benefits the insiders and the wealthy, people can still make a difference.”

“His success in bringing automatic voter registration to Illinois so that anyone who interacts with a state agency will be offered the opportunity to be automatically added to the voter rolls is a testament to his determination, his deep understanding of state government, and his capacity to work with others in building a coalition that became an unstoppable force,” wrote Kennedy.

Joy was also executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, and served as deputy director and grants coordinator for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. He’s also a a member of The City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council and The Economic Club of Chicago.

Kennedy is one of the last candidates to choose a Lieutenant Governor, with only Madison County Schools Supt. Bob Daiber left to announce his pick.