February 8, 2023

Rachael Ray surprises former Chicago aldermanic candidate with Caribbean trip

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By Tracy Swartz From Chicago Tribune

TV host Rachael Ray surprises a former Chicago aldermanic candidate and her husband with a trip to St. Lucia on Friday’s episode of her daytime show.

Ray met Loukisha Smart-Pennix in February when they were on WGN-Ch. 9 morning news together. Ray showed Smart-Pennix how to fix her chicken noodle soup recipe on a cooking segment.

“I fell in love with her so I brought my girlfriend here to New York because I have a mad crush on her,” Ray says on Friday’s show.

Ray then announces she is gifting Smart-Pennix and her husband, Aaron Pennix, a five-day, four-night, all-inclusive stay at the Royalton Saint Lucia resort to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Airport transportation and airfare are included.

Smart-Pennix is eating brisket when she hears the news — and almost chokes.

“I think I killed her. Ohmigod,” Ray said.

It seems like it has been a good year for Smart-Pennix. In June, the board of directors of Unity Christian Academy in South Holland hired her as head of school.

Smart-Pennix campaigned to be alderman of the 8th Ward, but withdrew her candidacy about two months before the 2011 election after her nomination papers were challenged. She ended up getting seven write-in votes. She served as director of children services at the city’s Department of Family and Support Services.

Ray’s show airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on WGN.

[email protected]

Twitter @tracyswartz

For more on this story and video go to: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-rachael-ray-surprise-trip-20181207-story.html

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