Picture an Illinois Congressional district, its borders snaking from gang-dominated ’hoods through guns’n religion-dominated suburbs, suddenly represented in Washington by a committed Christian conservative who has lived the harsh realities and knows the territory. Dreams really can come true – even in Illinois.
Paul McKinley is a Republican candidate seeking to swap the tainted Jesse Jackson Jr. legacy in the redistricted 2nd Congressional District for an agenda that his constituents will understand. It would represent a kind of rebirth in the 2nd District, using his conservative ideas to replace two consecutive congressmen (Mel Reynolds and Jackson) who used their political power for personal enrichment – in the context of a state with two governors in prison for political corruption.
What is Paul McKinley’s agenda? Begin with this: stop the violence, repair the foundations, show the 43 percent unemployed (mostly young people) that education combined with cohesive family and religious ethics can unleash the American dream, even in the midst of rampant corruption. Paul McKinley sometimes calls himself “a flawed candidate.” He fought the Chicago Machine system when he was a teenager, broke a lot of rules, and went to prison for 14 years. His silver lining was the world of books he discovered and the Biblical groundwork his mentors in the prison system provided. The frosting on that cake is that Paul McKinley also discovered a voice for his natural political instincts in prison; there is no audience that does not rise to its feet in applause for the McKinley agenda, a breath of good hope in a world of sorrow. It’s the one, and only one, battle cry that the Chicago Machine cannot counter with its cronyism or threats.
Paul McKinley has an opponent in the February 26 Republican primary, Eric Wallace – an opponent who is very good in very many ways, beginning with the endorsement of most of the establishment Republicans. This might be the moment to suggest that Eric Wallace consider running as the polished, conservative candidate he is for Congress in the beleaguered and harshly redistricted 9th, now represented by Jan Schakowsky. He has no place, though, in the hoods or the south suburbs where his laid-back, moderate campaign style cries nothing but more and more Mitt Romney. It would be a disservice to the citizens of the 2nd District to field a GOP candidate who is the wrong person in the wrong place.
The 2nd Congressional District is a war zone, and it requires a war time candidate dedicated to fighting the bad guys using their vocabulary and wielding tactics they understand. What Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz bring nationally to the Hispanic world’s unique values and history, Paul McKinley can be to the Illinois 2nd District, especially after winning the primary and running against a hand-picked Machine Democrat. If you know any Republican leaders in Illinois, let them know that McKinley for Congress is the future; that change can happen, even in Illinois. And join ConservativeBrand in supporting this important cause.