McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally drops re-election bid, will step down as top prosecutor

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said Tuesday that, “after nonstop agonizing,” he has chosen not to seek re-election in November.

It would have been his third term as state’s attorney, and he was running unopposed, having just won his Republican primary last month.

“It is with sadness that I write to inform McHenry County residents that I have decided to remove myself from the 2024 race for McHenry County State’s Attorney,” he said in a news release. “I will leave the office at the end of my term, November 30, 2024.”

He also said that there is someone who is going to take his place though he declined to identify. Who would replace him on the November ballot would presumably also be a decision that would involve the county’s Republican Party.

“I love the job and will carry with me an abiding sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to represent the wonderful people of McHenry County,” he continued. “After protracted conversations with family and friends, considerable prayer, non-stop agonizing, and having taken stock of the life’s immediate challenges, which include raising four young children and caring for two ailing parents, I have concluded that I cannot commit to undertaking four more years with the same vigor that I have endeavored to devote over the last eight and that the formidable job of state’s attorney demands.”

He said his office is “overflowing with talented lawyers who also happen to be wonderful people” and that the office is well-equipped to effectively serve residents and crime victims throughout the transition to come.

“The only thing that has made the lead-heavy burden of this decision bearable is that there is someone of unassailable character and talent who has decided to seek the approval of the Republican Party in filling my vacancy as candidate,” he said. “A person who, if fortunate enough to be nominated and elected, will do truly great things.”

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Kenneally declined further comment.

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