State Sen. Kwame Raoul on Wednesday, September 20, announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for Illinois attorney general, hoping to help bring about criminal justice reforms.
If elected, Raoul would replace longtime Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who made a stunning announcement last week that she would not seek reelection.
Raoul would become the first Black Illinois attorney general in the state’s history. By late Wednesday, Raoul’s website had a new look that included new goals as a candidate for the position. He also posted an online video on his website.
“As a prosecutor and a legislator, I’ve spent my career advocating on behalf of victims, speaking up for the voiceless and producing real change in our justice system,” Raoul said in a statement. “I’ve seen the law used to the advantage of large corporations and to the detriment of the middle class and those of lesser means. I’ve worked to shift that balance and make our state’s laws the great equalizer they ought to be.”
The announcement is the latest political move for Raoul, who has served in many roles in the state Senate. He sponsored legislation abolishing the state’s death penalty law and expanding recordings of police investigations. He has sponsored new legislation that toughens penalties for repeat violent gun crime offenders.
“As an elected official, I have a keen sense of the cynicism many Illinoisans feel toward the government, and I don’t blame them,” Raoul said. “We’re living in a time when regional, economic, racial and partisan divides have been exploited to give us impasse, not results. My record is one of leveraging the tools of government to level the playing field and promote the common good.
“As Attorney General, I’ll put my problem-solving and advocacy experience to work to ensure that justice in Illinois is blind, never discriminating between city, suburban and downstate, between brown, Black and white or between rich and poor. I am running to restore balance so that political gamesmanship is no match for the rule of law, under which all are equal.
Raoul is the second Democratic state lawmaker to announce a bid for the position. One day earlier, State Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood announced his intention to launch his campaign after giving up a long-shot bid for governor. Republican Erika Harold, a former Miss America and Harvard law graduate announced her bid to run with the support of dozens of GOP lawmakers. Rauner is reportedly backing Harold’s campaign.