By GREG BISHOP
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s defense of the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders in court is expected to be an election issue raised by the Republican nominee who brought many of those challenges.
With very little political capital, Attorney Thomas DeVore won the GOP primary for Illinois attorney general Tuesday.
“I think the people of Illinois are starting to pay attention to what’s going on and how they’ve been treated for the last two years and I think they’re going to make a difference in November,” Mr. DeVore said.
IllinoisSunshine.org shows Mr. DeVore with around $35,000 in campaign funds on hand. Mr. DeVore beat out Steve Kim, who had more than $633,000 on hand.
“I wish both candidates luck in the general election and hope whoever is our next Attorney General will take strong action to fight crime, tackle our systemic government corruption, and address the issues that Illinoisans deeply care about,” Mr. Kim said in a statement.
Mr. DeVore said his challenges as a private attorney of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 mandates resonated with Illinois voters.
“They’re tired of it. They’ve had enough. They’ve told me about it and again the attorney general and the governor, they’re going to be tied at the hip,” Mr. DeVore told WMAY Wednesday. “Because, again, Attorney General Raoul has been nothing but an extension of Governor Pritzker and I think that’s going to hurt him in the general election.”
Mr. Raoul has more than $1 million in his campaign fund.
When asked about the primary at a separate news conference in Chicago Wednesday, Mr. Raoul congratulated Mr. DeVore on securing the GOP nomination. He said he and other attorneys general should try to be as nonpartisan as possible.
“In our law enforcement role, for example, I don’t choose which state’s attorneys I calibrate with based on party affiliation,” Mr. Raoul said. “I don’t choose which police chiefs I collaborate with based on party affiliation.”
Mr. DeVore made headlines over the past two years for suing the governor over COVID-19 mandates on behalf of students, parents, workers and even GOP gubernatorial nominee state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia.
“These mandates have destroyed lives at all levels in the last two years, and so my office would let that governor know, whether it’s Mr. Bailey, whether it’s Mr. Pritzker, you’re done with the mandates,” Mr. DeVore said. “You need to find a way to govern the way the people intended us to govern and that’s through the Legislature. That’d be the first day.”
Mr. Raoul said he’s ready to compare his record as attorney general to Mr. DeVore’s work, and defended his siding with Gov. Pritzker and the mandates.
“Believe me, I would have rather have used those resources on some of the other things,” Mr. Raoul said, “to keep on successfully making the same argument over and over again about mitigations we put in to save lives.”
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.