GOP gains traction in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s district

Sophia Tareen
The Daily Caller

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (AP) — Isaac Hayes, a conservative Republican challenging U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is getting more attention lately — and not just because he shares a name with the soul legend known for the “Shaft” theme.

More revelations about Jackson’s links to the corruption case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and a relationship he had with a female “social acquaintance” have given Hayes an opening in the reliably Democratic and largely black district that Jackson won with nearly 90 percent of the vote two years ago.

Hayes suddenly is getting notice from national Republicans and is being mentioned often on black radio stations. While political experts see him as unlikely to score an upset in November, he could benefit from voter sentiment about Jackson’s troubles.

“There has to be a change,” Hayes said. “People are saying ‘enough is enough.’”…

…Hayes is trying to capitalize on Jackson’s troubles; his website is called He bills himself as a “Booker T. Washington Republican” who is conservative on fiscal and social issues — he opposes abortion and gay marriage or civil unions — and as a fighter for civil rights.

The son of a minister, Hayes works at the massive Apostolic Church Of God on Chicago’s South Side where 20,000 people are members and 7,000 regularly attend services. Hayes thinks he can win by appealing to devout Christians and independents…

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