Illinois Attorney General Won’t Seek Re-election In 2018 | WBEZ
Skip to main content


Illinois Attorney General Won't Seek Re-election In 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Friday that she won't seek re-election to a fifth term, reversing previous public statements that she would run again in 2018.

Madigan, who wasn't immediately available for an interview, didn't detail her future plans.

"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," the Chicago Democrat said in a statement. "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."

Four years ago, she briefly considered a gubernatorial run, but announced that she'd seek re-election for attorney general instead. She is the daughter of longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and in a 2013 statement said Illinois wouldn't be "well-served by having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family."

Michael Madigan said Friday that his daughter has always stood up for what's right and noted that she's helped pass laws that help victims of sexual assault and fought for homeowners.

"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," he said in a statement.

Word of an open race for Illinois attorney general was expected to generate furious scrambling for next year's contest. The Republican party-backed candidate for attorney general is Erika Harold, a lawyer and former Miss America.

After serving in the Illinois Senate, Lisa Madigan was elected Illinois' first female attorney general in a tight race in 2002. She handily won re-election each of the next three elections.

In recent years, she's raised her profile on the national stage, working with federal officials and filing lawsuits on consumer advocacy issues, including mortgage practices, student loan services and against for-profit colleges.

During her tenure, Madigan has said enforcement actions against banks, lenders and other financial institutions — including settlements over financial misconduct — led to recovering over $3.2 billion in relief for Illinois homeowners, communities and state pension funds. She has also pushed laws requiring colleges and universities to respond to sexual violence on campus and protect victims' rights.

Recently, her office joined attorneys general nationwide in suing to block President Donald Trump's plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

Madigan said she plans to serve out her term, which ends in January 2019.

Below is Lisa Madigan's statement announcing she will not seek another term as attorney general. 


Chicago – Lisa Madigan issued the following statement today:

“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.”

This is a developing news story. Check back for updates -- we'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.