Chris Kennedy picks Chicago activist as running mate

Ra Joy
Courtesy: Kennedy for Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy has chosen a man who lost his son to gun violence in Chicago as his running mate.

Ra Joy is executive director of Change Illinois, a coalition of civic, business and labor groups.

His 23-year-old son, Xavier Joy, was shot and killed in June, apparently by someone trying to steal his cellphone.

The 44-year-old Joy told the Chicago Tribune his son’s death played a role in his decision to seek the political post. Saying it will give him the opportunity to “turn pain into purpose.”

Kennedy says Joy’s work on expanding voter registration was an important lesson to the young to get involved in politics.