CHICAGO – Republican Erika Harold conceded to Democrat Kwame Raoul in their battle for Illinois attorney general.
Raoul, who was appointed to the state Senate in 2004 to replace the U.S. Senate-bound Barack Obama, pledged to fight Trump as attorney general, saying the president’s agenda will hurt the environment and undermine a woman’s right to an abortion.
“We reject the hate that has come from Donald Trump ... [and] the policies that come from them,” he told supporters at a victory party in Chicago after winning the seat vacated by Democrat Lisa Madigan.
Raoul spoke about his immigrant parents, who came to the U.S. from Haiti, and recalled how his physician father sometimes accepted payment in goods such as cheese in exchange for his medical services.
“You better believe I am going to live out my father’s legacy and fight for access to health care,” he said.
Raoul, 54, boasts a variety of legal experiences, including as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, and he criticized Harold’s lack of experience as a prosecutor.
Harold, an Urbana lawyer who used scholarship winnings as Miss America 2003 to get a degree from Harvard Law School, is a civil litigator who dismissed Raoul’s complaints and posits herself as an able administrator willing to take on public corruption.
Harold wished Raoul well in her concession speech.
“We need an attorney general who will be able to take the politics out of the office and to be able to bring us all together,” she told her supporters.
Raoul has built a record in the Legislature of fighting illegal guns and restructuring workers’ compensation laws to curb abuses.
He said the attorney general’s role has expanded in modern times to include defending taxpayers against federal overreach on issues such as the Muslim travel ban and keeping immigrant families together. He pledged to expand the post’s vigilance in fighting online sexual predators and fighting gun violence with better trauma treatment of victims who research shows sometimes become perpetrators.
Libertarian Bubba Harsy of DuQuoin also was on the ballot.