Nekritz gathering signatures for bid for attorney general

  • State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, is considering a bid for attorney general.

      State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, is considering a bid for attorney general. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/17/2017 10:25 PM

A retiring suburban lawmaker is the latest to express interest in becoming Illinois' next attorney general.

Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook told the Daily Herald Sunday evening that she was surprised as anyone by news Friday that Chicago Democrat Lisa Madigan announced she would not be seeking re-election for a fifth term Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Who knew this was going to be an option?" said Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat. A real estate attorney by trade, Nekritz said such a move would require her to reactivate her law license.

Nekritz announced her resignation June 16, just days before lawmakers were due back in Springfield for a 10-day special session hastily called by Rauner 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 yearslong budget battle.

She said Sunday that she felt she could serve as attorney general with renewed energy. "It's a separate executive branch, the power dynamics are different," she said.

Nekritz says she plans to spend the coming weeks gathering the required petition signatures needed to run for office.

The deadline to file nominating petitions is Dec. 4.

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"It's a huge task," she said, "but the same one that anyone else considering running (for the post) is faced with."

Madigan, a four-term officeholder and daughter of longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, announced her intent not to seek re-election Friday, reversing previous statements.

"As I look ahead, I believe that the end of my fourth term as attorney general will be the right time for me to seek a new challenge," she said in a statement. "I have dedicated my career to helping people. That will continue to be my focus, and I am looking forward to finding new ways to do that with the passion that I have brought to my work as attorney general."

In addition to Nekritz, Democratic state Rep. Chris Welch of Hillside, Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago, and Democratic state Rep. Ann Williams of Chicago are among those who have expressed interest in making a primary bid for attorney general. On the Republican side, attorney Erika Harold of Urbana has announced a bid.

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