October 11, 2010

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON AND THE MG'S?

GOP gains traction in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s district (SOPHIA TAREEN, 10/11/2010, AP)

Isaac Hayes, a conservative Republican challenging U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is getting more attention lately — and not just because he shares a name with the soul legend known for the “Shaft” theme.

More revelations about Jackson’s links to the corruption case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and a relationship he had with a female “social acquaintance” have given Hayes an opening in the reliably Democratic and largely black district that Jackson won with nearly 90 percent of the vote two years ago. [...]

Hayes is trying to capitalize on Jackson’s troubles; his website is called isaac4honesty.com. He bills himself as a “Booker T. Washington Republican” who is conservative on fiscal and social issues — he opposes abortion and gay marriage or civil unions — and as a fighter for civil rights.

The son of a minister, Hayes works at the massive Apostolic Church Of God on Chicago’s South Side where 20,000 people are members and 7,000 regularly attend services. Hayes thinks he can win by appealing to devout Christians and independents.

“He’s a new conservative African-American who is exactly what people are looking for in this environment,” said Lee Roupas, chairman of Cook County Republicans. “Given the corruption, the lies, the scandals surrounding Jesse Jackson Jr., this is a race that we’re taking seriously.”

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2010 6:05 PM
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