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Boxed in by father, Lisa Madigan seeks fifth term as Illinois attorney general


Erving because the father emcee at some point Boxed  of Democrat Day at remaining 12 months general’ Illinois State Fair, nation Rep. Lou Lang added Attorney General Lisa Madigan as a person who has served inside the task “for many, a few years.”


She took the gentle ribbing in stride.

“It has been my privilege and my possibility to serve as your legal professional widespread for, as Lou Lang stated, ‘many, many, many years,'” Madigan stated, earlier than launching into a list of accomplishments from her time as the nation’s top felony officer.

With the 2018 campaign season coming near, Madigan is poised to seek a 5th term as she attempts to increase her record as the longest-serving lawyer widespread in Illinois history.

Madigan’s office declined requests to interview the attorney fashionable. Asked at an unrelated news convention this week about whether she’ll be searching for re-election, she responded, “That is, in reality, the plan. Yes.”

The attorney trendy has not been critically challenged utilizing Republicans because she first ran for the workplace in 2002 as a North Side state senator with four years of experience. Neither has she risen to a better workplace regardless of being tabbed as a future Democratic big-name stated as a contender for the whole lot from a governor and U.S. Senate to the Illinois Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court.

Madigan, now 50, has passed on a series of capability possibilities and over again might be staying put. And with that, a critical question resurfaces: possibly the very aspect that helped her first win election — being the daughter of veteran House Speaker Michael Madigan, who’s additionally the nation Democratic chairman — is what’s now weighing down her political ambitions.

It changed into 4 years ago that Lisa Madigan becomes considering a run for governor and actively raising marketing campaign money whilst brushing off the perception that her capacity bid raised feasible warfare-of-hobby concerns with her father serving because the kingdom’s maximum powerful legislative chief.

Then in July 2013, she introduced she could are seeking a fourth term rather than take on then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.


“I sense strongly that the country could not be nicely served with the aid of having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family and have by no means deliberate to run for governor if that could be the case,” she said in a statement. “With Speaker Madigan making plans to maintain in the workplace, I will not run for governor.”

Lisa Madigan

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan seems on as his daughter Lisa Madigan is sworn in as kingdom attorney trendy for the first time in 2003. She has not been seriously challenged with the aid of Republicans when you consider that she first ran for the workplace in 2002 as a North Side kingdom senator with 4 years’ revel in. (John Lee / Chicago Tribune)
In political circles, that left questions about the nation of their relationship. The topic was simplest amplified the subsequent month while her father advised reporters, “Lisa and I had spoken about that on several occasions, and he or she knew thoroughly that I did now not plan to retire.”

“She knew what my role became,” he stated. “She knew.”

In the almost four years due to the fact, there may have been no speculation approximately any impending retirement with the aid of Michael Madigan, seventy-five, the kingdom’s longest-serving speaker of a Country House, a role he has held for all but two years considering that 1983.

That’s particularly real as Michael Madigan and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wage a non-public, political and ideological struggle that has ended in ancient finance deadlock.

Last summer season, Lisa Madigan spoke to journalists in short about a bid for governor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She puzzled whether or not all of us within the Illinois delegation turned into “ruling out whatever” for 2018 but also stated her father’s persisted function as speaker became “still an element.” Also, at the conference, Michael Madigan said he hadn’t spoken along with his daughter about a governor run “currently.”

Since 2015, the name “Madigan” has faced constant assaults through Rauner. The governor has sought to vilify the speaker thru ads for the Republican’s preliminary run for governor, for the duration of midterm elections for the legislature, and throughout the lengthy deadlock.

Rauner’s attacks additionally have carried over to consist of Lisa Madigan. In March, he contended she turned into “actually a part of a coordinated hobby, coordinated sample” with the speaker to shut down a government by using looking for a courtroom order to forestall country employee paychecks amid the price range stalemate.

The Rauner-subsidized nation Republican Party additionally released an Internet advert contending the legal professional fashionable’s moves over country paychecks have been designed to assist her father in enhancing taxes and “guard their power.” The lawyer popular’s office responded at the time using announcing the governor “needs to stop the baseless finger-pointing and do his task.”

There’s little question that Rauner has damaged the Madigan emblem, said David Yepsen, the former director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

“A lady that young, you do not need to mention the game has passed her via, but she’s truly lost a few possibilities right here,” Yepsen stated.



“She’s found out a few things from her old guy. … She knows how to get things finished in government. I think she might be a substantial candidate, but I do assume the emblem is tarnished — too many Madigans,” he said.

That view is not shared with the aid of Madigan confidants.

“Admittedly, I’m pretty near Speaker Madigan and on his leadership crew, so I could say the solution to that question (of whether or not the brand is tarnished) is no,” stated Lang, a Skokie Democrat.

“Lisa Madigan has carved out her niche, is distinctly reputable in our kingdom and throughout you. S ., and I do not suppose she might be impacted at all by using something that swirls around the speaker,” he said.

Lisa Madigan and her husband, Pat Byrnes, a cartoonist, creator, and inventor, have two daughters. Inside the past, Madigan has spoken of the way she cherishes her circle of relatives’ lifestyles.

That turned into the case in 2009. After being wooed by the White House to run for President Barack Obama’s open U.S. Senate seat and thinking about a bid for governor, she opted to are trying to find a 3rd term as attorney widespread. In political circles, her call also has been stated for a seat at the Illinois Supreme Court.

Steve Brown, the speaker’s spokesman, stated he believes Lisa Madigan stays interested in the legal professional general’s publish and “enjoys being there.”

“It is a long-term (in that office), but it’s one of these places of work you form of the switch on or off. If something special is taking place with the children, unless there may be an exceptional event, you may flip off the transfer and be with your kids,” Brown said. “You can be visible. You can select your battles. Of the statewide offices, that one, I suppose, has a few substance to it and also some control to have a bit of an everyday life.”

To make sure, Lisa Madigan’s workplace has sought to be active, most recently in becoming a member of with other country attorneys general to document buddy of the court briefs in search of to dam govt orders and other actions via Republican President Donald Trump’s administration and others on issues consisting of immigration, patron financial protections, Wall Street reform, defunding of Planned Parenthood, net neutrality and environmental requirements.

On Thursday, she joined with 19 different lawyers fashionable in signing a letter to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein calling for the immediate appointment of an impartial unique recommend to analyze feasible Russian interference inside the 2016 presidential election following Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.