WOODLAWN — Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy is expected to name a Woodlawn nonprofit director who lost his son to violence as his running mate Thursday.
Kennedy told the Tribune that Ra Joy, executive director of Change Illinois, would announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor Thursday afternoon.
Joy’s son, Xavier Joy, was killed in June just blocks from his Woodlawn home in what was assumed to be a robbery by Joy’s family at the time.
Joy, who has been active in politics for years, told the Tribune that the death of his son in part motivated his decision to seek office, and he saw it as a chance to channel pain into a new purpose.
The nonprofit he leads, Change Illinois, was behind a successful push to create automatic voter registration in Illinois and also has advocated to take politics out of redrawing legislative districts.
Joy was previously on the staff of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Chicago).
Joy joins one other South Sider as a candidate for lieutenant governor — state Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Bronzeville) is running with Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker.