"As a lifelong Illinois Democrat, I'm pleased to receive the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Organization," Raoul said in a statement. "13 years ago, a group of Demcoratic committeemen came together to appoint me to fill the vacancy of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Since that time, I've worked hard every day to make those committeemen and my constituents proud.
Eight different Democratic candidates for Attorney General, including former Governor Pat Quinn, made their pitch to the Cook County representatives on Friday morning.
Quinn, who recently entered the race, said that he is polling ahead of his rivals in the primary race, but the party went with Raoul instead.
“Thank you to all the committeemen who unanimously endorsed State Senator Kwame Raoul for Attorney General,” Cook County Chairman Joseph Berrios said in a statement. “These times call for a strong Attorney General who isn’t afraid to take on Governor Rauner or President Trump, who has declared war on women, children, families, undocumented immigrants, and our safeguards.”
That decision didn’t sit well with at least one of the candidates, as Jesse Ruiz issued a statement criticizing the move to “slate a fellow political insider.”
“Throughout my career, I have been a staunch advocate for transparency and openness in government,” he said. “I will continue to do so as Attorney General.”
Republicans also blasted the decision, calling it another victory for House Speaker Mike Madigan.
"It's no surprise that the most crooked organization in Illinois politics with close ties to Mike Madigan is backing Kwame Raoul for Attorney General," the Illinois GOP said in a statement. "The people of Illinois deserve a reform-minded Attorney General, but Kwame Raoul is just another career politician from Chicago who does Madigan's bidding."
Only one Republican has currently entered the race, as attorney Erika Harold will be running for her party’s nomination for the position.
The primary is scheduled for March 20, 2018.