CHICAGO — After 14 years in office, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Friday that she will not seek a fifth term.
Her term ends in January 2019.
“As I look ahead, I believe that the end of my fourth year as Attorney General will be the right time for for me to seek a new challenge,” Madigan said in a statement. “I have dedicated my career to helping people. That will continue to be my focus, and I am looking forward to finding new ways to do that with the passion that I have brought to my work as Attorney General.”
Her father, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan released a statement which reads, in part: “No father could be prouder of his daughter’s personal and professional accomplishments, and I look forward to watching her continue her commitment to helping people in a new capacity.”
Now word on what that new capacity might be.
Madigan was first elected attorney general in 2002 she had previously said she would seek a fifth term.
But political insider have long expected her to run for higher office.
As soon as the news broke, the political angling began.
State Senator Kwame Raoul was set to run for attorney general in 2014, but backed off when Madigan decided to stay put.
“This is an office of great capacity to advocate for the citizens of state of Illinois and the state at large. I’ve expressed interest in it in the past and so I’m going to take a serious look at it,” he said.
With Madigan out of the picture, Raoul thinks this may be his moment, and he won’t wait for others to decide.
“There’s nobody who will tell me I won’t do this and there’s nobody who will tell me I have to do this. I will make my own decision,” he said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement:
“Lisa Madigan’s integrity, intelligence and unwavering commitment to justice made our state stronger and safer. Her service spans two decades and is one of many firsts. She is both the first female elected to serve as Attorney General of I and the first I Attorney General to argue a case before the Supreme Court in three decades. She never shied from criticism or shirked duty, earning her the esteem of colleagues, the respect of her critics and the admiration of the people of I. Despite earning national praise, Attorney General Madigan never forgot her South Side upbringing and fought for I. As a lawyer and lawmaker, she argued against discriminatory business practices, advocated for survivors of sexual assault and advanced access to affordable health care. While Attorney General Madigan may not be running for reelection, I am confident she will continue her selfless service beyond I, and I look forward to working with her in the years to come.”
Republican Erika Harold is already running for the attorney general job. Her campaign said this is a sign her momentum can’t be stopped. Others could make a play soon, too.