So Paul McKinley comes out of nowhere and wins the Republican primary for representative in the 2nd Congressional District.

I’ve met him and heard him speak and liked his message – and kept my expectations pretty low. But there it is, with 95 percent of the votes in, he’s ahead by 23 votes at 11:30 p.m. on Election Day. Last week, I wrote why I think he makes a better “representative” of that district than his opponents. But it’s ironic that I know and like both Paul McKinley and Eric Wallace. 23 votes apart.

Most of the local press ignored the Republican side of the campaign – Laura Washington of the Sun Times called the GOP candidates “road kill.” With no money and no establishment support, Paul McKinley just got out there and met the folks, told his story.

Earlier this evening, I wrote to an old friend at Illinois Review, asking her to interview this unique candidate as the good journalist she is. Here’s what I said: I’m truly sorry if Eric Wallace and his GOP friends are disappointed by Paul McKinley’s squeaker win tonight in the Republican primary for the 2nd District. As Paul’s friend, I would like to see Illinois Review cover his unique perspective much more effectively than the “journalists” in the MSM  – and a lot better than by calling him out as unqualified for going to jail as a teenager. All this time I’ve thought that conservatives were more about redemption and forgiveness.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch the magic that Paul McKinley can make happen in a room full of 2nd District voters, the passion his message can inspire, the example he represents – that someone can change, get an education, embrace conservative family values and survive the punishment to become a better person. I can only urge you to talk with him in person; let Paul McKinley make the case for his Republican candidacy. I think he deserves that much.