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Illinois Politics

Kenny Johnson Leads Christian Mitchell in Illinois State House Race, Poll Says

(Chicago, IL) – November 17, 2011. In the campaign to capture the Illinois state house seat recently held by current Chicago 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns, Kenny Johnson (D-Chicago) has a 13 point lead over Democratic primary opponent Christian Mitchell of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, while the bulk of voters remain undecided in the contest, according to a new poll.

They survey, conducted by Communications Concepts for Johnson between November 8-9, gave Johnson 19.0% and Mitchell 5.8%, with 75.2% undecided.

Johnson’s name identification edged Mitchell’s, 40.1% to 27.7%.

Johnson also holds a 20.0% to 6.4 % favorable/unfavorable rating, compared to a 10.1% to 5.7% favorable/unfavorable rating for Mitchell.

The seat is currently held by State Rep. Kim Debuclet (D-Chicago), who was appointed in spring 2011 to replace Burns after he captured the city council seat. Debuclet is not seeking election to the job.

Currently, Johnson is Vice President at Merge Consumer Marketing, a Chicago-based advertising agency.  He also serves on the board directors for the non-profit Jobs for Youth, which helps young men and women from low-income families with job-training and other services.

Mitchell, a deputy field director for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s re-election campaign in 2010 and the campaign manager for Burns’ successful aldermanic bid in 2011, is being backed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

While Johnson leads Mitchell by 13 points in the survey, there are still four months until the March 12, 2012 primary and the 75% undecided number means the race is still wide open. With an aggressive and smart campaign, Mitchell could easily erase Johnson’s current edge.

The poll surveyed 378 likely Democratic primary voters in the 26th Representative District, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 5.0%.

The new 26th District runs along the Chicago lakefront from the Gold Coast south to 43rd Street, and continues south through portions of Kenwood, Washington Park, Woodlawn, and the South Shore and South Chicago neighborhoods.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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