Nekritz bows out of crowded Illinois attorney general race

Despite expressing interest in running for Illinois attorney general, outgoing state lawmaker Elaine Nekritz won't be seeking the position after all.

"I've decided against it, it was a family decision," Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, told the Daily Herald Sunday.

She said the move "simply wasn't the right time for my husband and family," and she dismissed questions of any political pressure placed on her to bow out of the race.

Nekritz's announcement slightly narrows the already crowded field to replace four-term officeholder Lisa Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.

Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago formally announced his candidacy last week, as did Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood.

Other Democrats considering primary runs include McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, Chicago Park District Board President Jesse Ruiz and Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico.

On the Republican side, Erika Harold, an attorney and former Miss America, has announced a bid.

Nekritz announced her resignation from her House seat June 16, just days before lawmakers were due back in Springfield for a 10-day special session that ultimately resulted in a budget after a two-year impasse.

A key architect of a pension reform plan ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court, Nekritz said she knew it was time to leave her job of 15 years when she found herself without the energy to tackle intractable state problems and frustrated beyond the point of productivity by the budget battle.

She said she plans to spend the remainder of the election cycle helping out the gubernatorial campaign of state senator and friend Daniel Biss of Evanston.

The deadline to file nominating petitions is Dec. 4.

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