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The Republican nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District kicked off his ground campaign on Monday with a “Machine walking tour” on the south side of Chicago. Residents of the community responded positively, stopping on the street to speak with the candidate and voicing their support–despite the local media’s attempt to re-convict him of his past.

Paul McKinley–an “ex-offender” who is pro-life, supports traditional family values, the Second Amendment, and less government–has come under full-on assault from the same local media that completely ignored the GOP primary race. McKinley won after running a campaign directed squarely at combating corruption and the Chicago Machine.

McKinley says it is “The Machine” that keeps his community in despair—and it’s not confined to the urban areas, but is spreading throughout the entire 2nd District.

Breitbart News caught up with McKinley and members of the community at his campaign stop on Monday at 75th St. and Exchange Ave.


One voter told Breitbart News that McKinley, “is someone that can relate to us… we are tired of being treated like second class citizens…” She said she would “definitely” vote for McKinley, a Republican.

Other voters agreed that McKinley shouldn’t just be judged by his past. Sylvia Brooks, a Republican from the community who came out of L&G’s Restaurant where McKinley was campaigning said:

They should look at everyone’s past. I believe a lot of them have got some skeletons in their closet, maybe me too, that still has nothing to do with my character, or what I want to bring to this community. If you have Democrat Parties who don’t have past, or do not a have a record… Why do we have so many of them becoming convicted felons?

Brooks raises a point that McKinley has campaigned on throughout the race, using his convicted felon status to his advantage: “I’m an ex-offender trying to prevent a next offender.”

They are trying to treat us like second class citizens… I’ve been to the penitentiary, I’ve done my time, I’m not going to keep doing my sentence, I paid my debt to society, now I come back and do street repentance and try to straighten out my community.

We’re not going to be second-class citizens, and even those who haven’t been to the penitentiary, they are treating them as second-class citizens. They are upset that I’m talking back, and I’m not cowering down to the machine. That’s why they are in the media attacking me. And they might as well keep attacking, because I’m not going to shut up.

McKinley says it wasn’t until after he won that the local media began to pay any attention to his campaign. Since then, he cites Fox (WFLD) Chicago’s Mike Flannery, who appears to be melting down over McKinley’s victory, for the most biased coverage against him. Flannery is constantly reiterating details of the crimes McKinley committed in his youth, over 30 years ago.

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