Raoul Defeats Harold in Race for Illinois Attorney General

Democrat Kwame Raoul won the race for Illinois attorney general after Republican Erika Harold conceded defeat Tuesday night.

Raoul earned 63 percent of the vote statewide with 27 percent of precincts reporting by 8:30 p.m. Harold earned 35 percent while Libertarian candidate Bubba Harsy garnered 2 percent of the vote at that same time. 

A former prosecutor, Raoul is currently an Illinois state senator who has represented portions of Chicago's South Side since 2004. He has long eyed the attorney general job and beat out seven other candidates, including former Gov. Pat Quinn, to earn the Democratic nomination.

Raoul has painted himself as a foil to President Donald Trump's administration and earned the endorsement of former President Barack Obama - whose seat Raoul was appointed to after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harold is a Harvard-educated former Miss America who unsuccessfully ran for Congress downstate in 2014. Harold currently works as an attorney in Urbana and emphasized in particular her experience advocating against violence and bullying.

The battle between the two was contentious, with attack ads from both camps up early and often. Raoul portrayed Harold as a right-wing conservative, highlighting her views, both past and present, opposing the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade and same-sex marriage, among others.

For her part, Harold attacked Raoul for voting to raise the state income tax and by depicting him as entrenched in the so-called "machine," tying him to House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Both candidates vehemently denied the other's allegations, and in the end, Raoul emerged victorious to take on the role after outgoing Attorney General Lisa Madigan declined to seek a fifth term in office.

Early results indicated that Raoul well outperformed polling in the race, which placed him ahead of Harold by an average of roughly 10 points.

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