Democrat Kwame Raoul re-elected as Illinois Attorney General


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Democrat incumbent Kwame Raoul won re-election in the Illinois Attorney General race.

Aviva Bechky, Development and Recruitment Editor

Democrat Kwame Raoul won re-election as Illinois’ Attorney General, receiving 55.3% of reported votes. 

Raoul ran against Republican Tom DeVore, who won 42.6% percent of the votes counted, and Libertarian Daniel Robin, who won 2.2%. Seventy-six percent of votes have been tallied so far. 

In his victory speech Tuesday, Raoul said his late mother prayed nightly over him, asking for reconciliation, justice and peace.

“This is the answer to my mom’s prayers that she said for me each and every night,” Raoul said. “I’m so proud to be in the State of Illinois. I’m so proud to be a citizen of the State of Illinois, because we are an oasis here in the Midwest.”

During his campaign, Raoul emphasized his commitment to women’s and abortion rights, affordable health care, voting rights and labor rights. He’s served as attorney general since 2019, following 14 years in the Illinois State Senate representing District 13. 

As Attorney General, Raoul created a Worker Protection Unit Task Force to enforce labor rights and the Organized Retail Crime Task Force to identify organizers between smash-and-grab crimes. He also filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and a gun manufacturer producing cheap guns. 

The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state, in charge of enforcing state law and offering legal advice to the state government. 

Throughout the campaign, Raoul and DeVore debated the Safety, Accountability and Fairness Equity-Today Act. Starting in January, the Pretrial Fairness Act — a smaller part of the overarching SAFE-T Act — will abolish cash bail in Illinois.

Raoul generally backed the law, saying it will promote accountability and rebuild trust in law enforcement. He did, however, indicate the law may need revisions or ongoing conversations. 

DeVore, like many conservatives, advocated for repealing the law. On his website, DeVore wrote the law would “cause many individuals charged with violent crimes to be released pending trial.” However, the Pretrial Fairness Act specifies that those facing felonies like first- and second degree-murder, robbery and kidnapping will be detained before trial. 

Raoul and DeVore also fought over COVID-19 prevention measures. During the pandemic, DeVore gained prominence by suing Pritzker’s administration, state school districts and the Illinois State Board of Education over a statewide school mask mandate.

A Democrat has served as Illinois’ Attorney General since 2003.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @avivabechky

Related Stories:

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

Advocates defend SAFE-T Act amid conservative backlash

The Daily Explains: What ending cash bail means for criminal justice reform and the misinformation that followed