Chris Kennedy’s running mate, announced Thursday, is Chicago activist Ra Joy, whose son was shot and killed in June.
Joy, 44, is the executive director of CHANGE Illinois, where he’s advocated for redistricting reform and automatic voter registration, among other roles there.
In a campaign video announcing the selection, Kennedy said Joy fights for the “things that he thinks are right.”
“Every conversation I’ve had with him is about the future,” Joy, an Evanston native said.
Joy’s son Xavier, a graduate of Whitney Young High School and a former football player at Morehouse College in Atlanta, was killed in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
“We hope and pray for an end to the violence that has impacted our family and so many others in our city,” Joy wrote in a Facebook post shortly after losing his son.
Kennedy has spoken out about gun violence in Chicago, and about his own struggles dealing with the death of his father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968.
Kennedy’s campaign on Wednesday said supporters would be the first to know the selection, although a press release was issued first.
Kennedy is one of the last Democratic gubernatorial candidates to select a lieutenant governor. The selection was needed in order for Kennedy to start collecting signatures for petitions. Madison County Schools Supt. Bob Daiber is the only other candidate who hasn’t announced his pick.