By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) announced today that he will run for Attorney General in the 2018 election. The current Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week that she will not run again.
“I’m running for Attorney General because our justice system must be blind; not a scheme that protects a privileged few,” Raoul said in a written statement. “As Illinois’ top prosecutor, the institutor of justice in our state, we cannot allow the political gamesmanship of Springfield to pervade our legal system.”
The Illinois Attorney General is the highest legal officer of the state of Illinois in the United States. Originally an appointed office, it is now an elected office.
Raoul has been the State Senator of District 13, which includes the Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood, since 2004. He took office after Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate. He is the chair of the Illinois Senate’s Redistricting Committee and the Senate’s Pension & Investments Committee.
Raoul serves as a partner of the law firm of Quarles & Brady with a practice concentrating on employment and labor litigation and lives in the Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood with his two children, Che and Mizan.
According to previous reports, Raoul was among the candidates past Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich considered to fill Obama’s Senate seat upon Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election. Raoul withdrew his name from consideration, wary of entering into a quid pro quo with the governor, who later became embroiled in a corruption scandal over his attempt to sell the appointment.
Raoul said over the past four years, he’s seen partisan gamesmanship in Springfield create the state budget crisis, a crisis for Illinois schools, a crisis for seniors seeking care and seemingly a different crisis every day.
“In 2015, our Governor [Bruce Rauner] said, ‘crisis creates opportunity,’” Raoul said. “But crisis has actually created confrontation. It’s led to partisan infighting that has pushed too many Illinoisans into the shadows, silencing their voice[s].”
Raoul said, “When I learned that Attorney General would not be seeking re-election, I knew I had to run to protect this sacred post from politics as usual.”