Many believe that Attorney General Lisa Madigan was President Barack Obama’s choice to replace him in the U.S. Senate, or that she wanted to run for governor. Now, she’s stepping aside after her term ends, and speculation is already raging about who will run to replace her.
Madigan has been a consumer advocate, recognized nationally for her work as Illinois’ first female Attorney General. Her decision not to run for a fifth term has generated all sorts of questions about who will jump into the race now that she won’t be seeking the Democratic nomination.
State Senator Kwame Raoul is one of many potential candidates whose names have been floated in the hours since Madigan announced her decision.
“My phone has not stopped ringing, and I’ve been getting a lot of text messages,” he said. “They’ve all been encouraging me, and they’ve all been asking me where to pick up petitions.”
Raoul is not the only politican considering a run. It is believed that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and newly elected Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx could be weighing runs.
McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, Chicago Park District President Jesse Ruiz, and State Rep. Ann Williams have all been rumored to be potential candidates for the job that Madigan has held since 2003.
Even former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett has been rumored to be considering a run.
On the Republican side, attorney Erika Harold has already announced that she’s running, and GOP sources are strongly urging State Rep. Jim Durkin and former State Rep. Tom Cross to consider a run as well.
Most believe that Madigan will head into private practice, but there’s always a chance she could jump into another race for political office. There is at least one position she won’t be running for: Chicago mayor, as she told Mayor Rahm Emanuel she won’t be running to unseat him in 2019.
“With a young family I can understand the pressures,” Emanuel said. “I think she looks at her entire tenure in public service, and she can be very proud of what she’s done.”
Madigan has been out of the Attorney General’s race for less than 24 hours, and there will still be plenty of time for new candidates to emerge as petitions need to be signed before March’s primary election.