CHICAGO — Christopher Kennedy has chosen a man who lost his son to gun violence in Chicago as his running mate in a bid to become the Democratic candidate for Illinois governor.

Ra Joy is executive director of Change Illinois, a coalition of civic, business and labor groups that has supported such issues as limits on campaign contributions. His 23-year-old son, Xavier Joy, was shot and killed in June, apparently by someone trying to steal his cellphone.

Kennedy is to formally announce Joy as his lieutenant governor candidate on Thursday.

The 44-year-old Joy told the Chicago Tribune his son’s death played a role in his decision to seek the political post. He said 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.


Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com