Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday she would not seek a fifth term.
“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,” Madigan 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.”
Madigan said she does plan to serve out the remainder of her term.
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“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.
Madigan had long been rumored to be eying a run for governor. She chose not to run for the governor’s office in 2014 because her father, Mike Madigan, was still Speaker of the House.
Speaker Madigan said in a statement he was proud of his daughter’s work.
“Throughout her life as an individual and as a public servant, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s achievements have been the result of her determination to fight for her convictions and to stand up for what she believed was right,” Mike Madigan said. “I’ve always been proud of her desire to fight for those who need help the most, which has driven her sense of duty as a person and as Illinois’ attorney general.”
It remains to be seen who will replace Lisa Madigan. According to the Chicago Tribune, she did say earlier this year that she would seek a fifth term to extend her tenure as the longest-serving attorney general in state history, according to the Chicago Tribune.
So far, only one Republican challenger has jumped in the race for attorney general.
Erika Harold, who lives in Urbana and works as an attorney for Meyer Capel, a large law firm in Champaign County, announced her candidacy last month.
Harold is a former Miss America.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, is expressing interest in running for attorney general.
The Illinois Republican Party in a statement said Lisa Madigan was part of the “Madigan brand” that is hurting the state.
“Thanks to her father, Lisa Madigan knew her days as Attorney General were numbered,” said Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot. “The Madigan brand is toxic for every single Illinois Democrat. This should be the beginning of the end of the Madigan Family’s disastrous reign over Illinois.”
During the state’s two-year budget impasse, Lisa Madigan tried to force a government shut down by asking a St. Clair County judge to order government employees no be paid unless there was an agreed upon appropriations bill in place. Madigan’s effort ultimately failed.
During her time as attorney general, Madigan worked to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act and created a public access counselor for complaints.
She created a task force to boost rape prosecution after a BND investigation found that 70 percent of rape cases reported to police in Southern Illinois don’t make it to court. The task force led to a new law that provides victims of sexual assault stricter protections during the evidence collection process and ensures transfer of evidence from hospital to police in a timely manner.
“Above all, I am proud of the countless ways that my office works every day to help people and protect their rights,” Lisa Madigan said. “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.”