Harold romps, Raoul declares victory in attorney general races
In the race for Illinois attorney general, former Miss America Erika Harold of downstate Urbana won the Republican nomination while State Rep. Kwame Raoul of Chicago declared victory in the Democratic primary.
If the results hold, it will mark the first time in 23 years that Illinois will have a black attorney general. Roland Burris, attorney general from 1991 to 1995, was the last black to hold the office.
With 95.3 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results in the GOP primary show Harold with 356,855 votes, or 59.5 percent, compared to DuPage County Board member Gary Grasso's 242,867 votes, or 40.5 percent.
In the Democratic primary, returns showed Raoul with 358,810 votes, or 30.4 percent. He was followed by former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn with 326,245 votes, or 27.6 percent.
Raoul led in suburban Cook County, the city of Chicago, DuPage, McHenry and Will counties. He and Quinn ran about even in Kane County. Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering prevailed in Lake County.
Saying, "we should be speaking proudly about the state of Illinois," Raoul declared victory at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday.
He thanked his father who taught him to be a proud Haitian-American.
"I don't care what Donald Trump says, I don't come from no type of hole," said Raoul who promised that as Illinois' next attorney general he will "fight for each and every immigrant who makes a contribution to this country."
Harold declined to claim victory but said she was encouraged by the results that showed her leading by double digits in suburban counties as well as Chicago. That included a double-digit lead she held in early returns from DuPage, Grasso's home county, which was having technical problems completing the vote tally Tuesday night.
"It's gratifying that the message and themes I've emphasized during the course of the campaign have resonated with voters," she said.
Harold attributed her success to campaigning in every part of the state, both downstate where she is better known and in the city and suburbs.
"The attorney general has to represent the interests of all Illinoisans," she said.
Candidates from both parties cited battling public corruption and ensuring government transparency as their top priorities should they prevail in the their efforts to succeed Democrat Lisa Madigan who served 16 years and did not seek re-election.
Democratic candidate State Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood, received 92,865 votes or 7.8 percent. Sharon Fairley, former assistant Illinois attorney general and former assistant U.S. attorney came in third with 146,673 votes or 12.4 percent. Cook County assistant public defender Aaron Goldstein received 36,635 votes or 3.1 percent. Former assistant U.S. attorney Renato Mariotti, a Naperville Central High School graduate, received 47,237 votes or 4 percent. Rotering received 108,881 votes or 9.2 percent and Chicago Park District President Jesse Ruiz received 65,256 votes or 5.5 percent.
United in their opposition to much of Donald Trump's agenda, Democrats are also united in their call for House Speaker Michael Madigan to step down as party chairman. Drury, however, also called for Madigan to resign as speaker.