Attorney General Lisa Madigan to Step Down
Madigan will ‘seek a new challenge’ after end of 4th term
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday that she will not seek another term in office in 2018. Madigan, who has held the office for four terms after first being elected in 2002, declined to give a specific reason for her decision and did not say whether or not she would run for another office.
“I still have much work to do on many important issues, and I will continue to give my best to the people of Illinois and the Office of Attorney General every day through the end of my term in January 2019,” she said.
“As I look ahead, I believe that the end of my fourth term as Attorney General will be the right time for me to seek a new challenge. 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.”
Madigan all but ruled out a run for governor in 2018. She announced her candidacy in 2014, only to step down during the Democratic primary because her father, longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, refused to step down.
“I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for governor if that would be the case,” she had said at the time.
Madigan would have faced a reelection challenge from Republican candidate Erika Harold, a former Miss America who has twice run unsuccessfully for Congress in Illinois’ 13th District.
The elder Madigan praised his daughter Friday, saying it has been his “privilege to watch his daughter fight for the people of Illinois every day.”
“She has authored tougher laws against criminals who prey on children and victims of sexual assault, fought for homeowners faced with losing their homes, and worked to ensure a more open and transparent state government,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Madigan served as a state senator from the North Side of Chicago for four years before her election as attorney general.
There are no declared Democratic candidates for attorney general at this time.
Read the full statement from Lisa Madigan:
“After serving as Illinois Attorney General for over 14 years, today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection.
“I still have much work to do on many important issues, and I will continue to give my best to the people of Illinois and the Office of Attorney General every day through the end of my term in January 2019.
“As I look ahead, I believe that the end of my fourth term as Attorney General will be the right time for me to seek a new challenge. 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.
“I have no doubt that having the opportunity to serve the people of Illinois as their Attorney General will forever be a highlight of my life. I thank the people of Illinois for placing their trust in me, and I want to thank all of those who have supported my work in elected office.
“As Attorney General, I’ve fought every day for the people of Illinois. I am particularly proud of:
• Generating over $13 billion in revenue for the State;
• Successfully arguing on behalf of Illinois in the U.S. Supreme Court;
• Recovering over $3.2 billion in relief for homeowners, communities, and state pension funds from the mortgage crisis;
• Saving Illinois utility ratepayers over $2.1 billion;
• Helping over 43,000 identity theft victims remove over $29 million in fraudulent charges affecting credit reports and financial accounts;
• Enforcing the environmental laws, fighting for strong regulations to combat global climate change, and advocating for environmental justice for communities impacted by pollution;
• Strengthening the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act and creating the first-ever Public Access Counselor in Illinois;
• Legislating better protections for people living in nursing homes;
• Shutting down predatory for-profit colleges and securing debt relief for their former students;
• Exposing the fraudulent practices of student lenders and fighting for borrowers’ rights;
• Leading the nation in reforming the way law enforcement responds to sexual assault crimes, including training over 1,500 nurses to become Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners;
• Championing a law to require Illinois colleges and universities to respond to sexual violence on campus, protect survivors’ rights and provide a fair and balanced process to address complaints;
• Successfully advocating to amend the Illinois Constitution to strengthen the rights of crime victims;
• Overseeing the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), which has been involved in the arrest of over 1,500 sexual predators, and investigating and arresting the most prolific child pornography traders in Illinois;
• Educating over 573,500 parents and students on internet safety and 23,500 law enforcement members on investigating cybercrimes;
• Prosecuting over 500 cases to ensure the most dangerous sex offenders are not released into communities;
Revoking the State’s 10th casino license,
• Successfully prosecuting local, county and state public officials across Illinois for misconduct; and
• Initiating the State investigation of former Governor Blagojevich.
“Above all, I am proud of the countless ways that my office works every day to help people and protect their rights.
“I attribute our success to the hard work of the dedicated and talented lawyers and staff who I have the pleasure of working with in the Office of the Attorney General. I look forward to continuing my work as Attorney General and then taking on new, challenging opportunities at the end of my term.”
Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz
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Aug. 14: “This law sends a message to survivors of felony child sex crimes that it is not too late to come forward,” said Polly Poskin, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, in a statement.