A resident and local businessman from Chicago’s West Side will try to snatch the 8th district state representative seat away from incumbent Calvin Giles in next year’s primary.

La Shawn K. Ford, owner of Ford Desired Real Estate located in Chicago’s Austin community, announced Sunday that he will challenge Giles in March 2006 Democratic primary. Ford, an Austin native, said education and economic development for the 8th District, which covers the West Side and portions of Oak Park and Riverside, are among his top priorities.

Ford, 33, announced his candidacy at his West Side campaign headquarters. Surrounded by supporters and family, Ford also took a few swipes at Giles, who still has more than $140,000 worth of unpaid campaign fines owed to the state. Giles has failed to file state-required campaign financial disclosure reports to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

“I will be a representative who not only makes the laws but will follow the law,” said Ford, who called Giles a “do-nothing” legislator.

Giles, a seven-term representative, has not returned calls to the media or to the board of elections.

?”Terry Dean