Candidate Admits To Criminal Record

By Syreeta Baker

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:19 PM CDT

A 92nd District state representative candidate is admitting to a criminal record.

Today Jehan Gordon announced that she was arrested for stealing a bracelet when she was 18.

Gordon pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge in June, 2000.

Gordon says she's coming forward with this information now to let voters know she is an honest candidate.

"If we knew our lives were going to be examined at one time we might have led our lives a little bit differently again," said Gordon. "As an 18-year-old I never saw myself running for public office but that's where I am today and I believe at this point this is what I have to do."

Just one week ago Gordon came under fire for radio ads claiming she graduated from the University of Illinois, when she still needs several credits to finish her degree. She says she is taking a math course and will finish this spring.

Jackie Petty, the Vice Chairperson for the Central Illinois Democratic Committee, said "Things that young people do they don't think and I don't think we should even be here today talking about it."

But Jehan Gordon is talking about it.

Her opponent Allen Mayer would not say if he knew of Gordon's past criminal record before her announcement.

Mayer said, "I was not aware that this was going to be an issue in this campaign I certainly haven't made it an issue."

"I stand here alone because these issues are mine alone. My supporters are still here," said Gordon.

Supporters like former senator George Shadid, Democratic Party chair Billy Halstead and State Senator Dave Koehler say they are still backing Gordon despite her past.

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