Ex-Chicago police oversight chief runs for attorney general

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The former head of Chicago's police oversight agency plans to run for state attorney general. (WLS)

The former head of Chicago's police oversight agency plans to run for state attorney general.

Sharon Fairley announced her bid for the Democratic nomination Tuesday, saying she has the combination of experiences to make her the top candidate.

"I'm entering the race because I believe I have the unique set of talents and experience to do the job," Fairley said.

It's an open contest after Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last month that she wouldn't seek a fifth term next year. Fairley's first job out of law school was working for Madigan.

Fairley is a former federal prosecutor who resigned this month as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability's chief administrator to run for office. The police group was formed in the wake of the 2014 police-involved shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald to replace a similar organization.

What 57-year-old Fairley doesn't have is political experience. Running for a state-wide office is expected to cost millions, and she faces a growing list of Democratic candidates, including Rep. Scott Drury, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and State Sen. Kwame Raoul. Erika Harold, a lawyer and former Miss America, seeks the Republican nomination.

"At the moment, Kwame Raoul has the strongest base, he would get a strong vote from the African-American community, he has been in state legislature a considerable time, and he knows players in each part of the state because of that role," said University of Illinois Chicago Professor Dick Simpson.

Fairley said her work rebuilding IPRA is proof she can get things done. She said her priorities will be fighting government corruption and protecting civil rights against what she called the Trump administration's unconstitutional attacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
politicsattorney generalchicago police departmentstate politicsipraIllinois
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