Raoul said he was “seriously looking” at running and said he would make a final decision “in the next few days.”
Raul, an attorney and former assistant Cook County prosecutor, has an extensive track-record working on issues of criminal justice reform, gun policy and serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Raoul would not jeopardize his Senate post, not on the 2018 ballot, by making a run for AG.
Welch said in an interview with ABC 7 news, that he is giving the decision serious consideration. Welch said of a possible run, “I will discuss my options with my family before circulating signature petitions”.
Dart is a former county prosecutor who also served as a state lawmaker and lost a statewide bid as Democratic candidate for treasurer in 2002. He is up for re-election next year.
According to a Tribune report other names have surfaced as well, including. “state Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park and state Rep. Elgie Sims of Chicago. Their legislative seats are up for election next year, so a run for attorney general would mean risking their spots. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is not on the ballot in 2018. Even a former ambassador to the Czech Republic under former President Barack Obama, attorney Andrew Schapiro, is considering a bid, an aide said.”
Speaker Michael J. Madigan suit
Madigan’s decision not to seek re-election comes less than two weeks after the opening of the period for candidates to gather petition signatures to get on the the March primary ballot. Her decision also comes less than two day’s on the heels of a federal judge’s ruling on Wednesday, Sep 13, allowing a law suit by Madigan’s former primary challenger to move forward.
Jason Gonzales alleges that Madigan put up “two sham candidates with Hispanic last names to split up the Hispanic vote” in order to defeat him in the March 2016 primary, according to the ruling. Allegations that Madigan used his authority and political influence to damage and discredit his opponent had previously been overlooked.
Successful bidders need a big cushion
Candidates need at least 5,000 valid signatures and can submit a maximum of 10,000 to the State Board of Elections by Dec. 4.
The successful bidder requires a hefty political war chest, particularly for Democratic hopefuls. Rauner could use his vast resources to finance the Republican candidate. JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy also have the wealth to throw in support behind the Democratic pick.
Madigan had $2.3 million in campaign funds in her political bank account for re-election as of the end of June.
State finance disclosure reports show Harmon, a member of the Democratic Senate leadership team, and Oak Park Township Committeemen, with $662,000 in his campaign bank account, ahead of Dart’s $470,000 and Raoul’s $340,000.
Harold has raised at least $40,000.