2nd District Candidate McKinley Spent 20 Years in Prison for Violent Crimes
Paul McKinley says his former violent crimes were a product of the environment in which he was raised, and now he wants to fight back so others don’t follow in his footsteps.
2nd District Republican candidate Paul McKinley hopes to beat frontrunner Robin Kelly for the seat of defamed former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., but his record of criminal history may make the already uphill battle even steeper.
McKinley spent nearly 20 years—almost a third of his life—in state prison after he was convicted of “burglarizing a store, pistol-whipping a man for his watch and robbing a woman of $60 at gunpoint,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Now, he says he’s running as an “ex-offender running to save the next offender.”
Reporters tried questioning McKinley about his former offenses Monday, but he responded with some hostility and accused one reporter of being a racist.
"Those white folks told you to dig as deep as you could," McKinley told the Tribune. "They're trying to say I'm a second-class citizen. I'm not a second-class citizen. You can't hurt me. Put it all out there."
According to McKinley, his former behavior is a product of the environment he grew up in—one he now intends to challenge as he proceeds with his campaign.