The Daily Northwestern’s guide to Illinois’s 2022 Attorney General race


John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield. Voters will decide who they want as their Attorney General on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Shannon Tyler, Assistant City Editor

This November, Republican Thomas DeVore will face off against Democratic incumbent Kwame Raoul in Illinois’ attorney general race.

The attorney general of any state serves as its chief legal officer. Attorney generals are responsible for enforcing state law and offering the state government legal advice. They also represent the state in court, defend state officials and prosecute some crimes, among other duties.

Illinois is one of 43 states that holds elections for the office of Attorney General, while candidates are appointed by the state’s governor in the other seven states. .

The Daily compiled an overview of the candidates and their platforms. 

Thomas DeVore

A constitutional attorney from southern Illinois, DeVore said he decided to run for attorney general after he began pursuing legal battles against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 policies. 

DeVore, who has worked as an attorney for about 11 years, has mainly practiced in civil litigation, according to the Chicago Tribune. He also founded and runs his own practice, DeVore Law Office.

DeVore said he intends to stand up for people instead of politicians. He aims to ensure equality under law, end corruption and decrease violence in Chicago.

DeVore recently sued Pritzker’s administration, 145 state school districts and the state Board of Education for Illinois’ mask and exclusion requirements in schools. DeVore filed the suit in Sangamon County Circuit Court, which temporarily restrained the mandate in schools, though it was ultimately dismissed by the Sangamon County Circuit Court.

He is also a vocal opponent of Pritzker’s SAFE-T Act, which will end cash bail in Illinois. DeVore said in a press conference that the act unlawfully violates separation of powers by deciding what types of felonies would or would not be eligible for cash bail. His campaign website promotes a petition to repeal the act. 

DeVore ran against Steve Kim and David Shestokas in the primaries and obtained 44% of the vote, securing his spot as the Republican attorney general candidate.

Kwame Raoul 

Raoul has served as Illinois’ attorney general since 2019. He was born to Haitian immigrant parents in Chicago and is running on a campaign of, fighting for affordable healthcare, protecting voting rights and standing with workers, among other initiatives, according to his website. 

In his time as attorney general, Raoul created the state’s first Organized Retail Crime Task Force to investigate smash-and-grab crimes. He also worked in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center to conduct trainings to prevent mass shooting threats and created a Worker Protection Unit in his office that enforces violations of worker protection laws.

As the sitting attorney general, Raoul fought DeVore’s lawsuits against Pritzker. After DeVore’s lawsuit temporarily restrained the masking mandate in some schools, Raoul immediately filed for an expedited appeal, which was successful. 

Raoul, is a proponent for the SAFE-T Act, but said the law needs further conversation to address potential ambiguities. 

Raoul ran unopposed in the democratic primaries securing his spot for the Democratic candidacy.

Voters can make their decision for Attorney General on November 8th, at any polling location in their county. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @shannonmtyler

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