Where Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Republican challenger Tom DeVore stand on key issues

ByKay Cesinger WLS logo
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Our Chicago Part 1: Illinois attorney general candidates
On Nov. 8, Illinois voters will select the next Illinois attorney general. That's the state's chief legal officer, responsible for protecting the public interest of the state and i

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Nov. 8, Illinois voters will select the next Illinois attorney general. That's the state's chief legal officer, responsible for protecting the public interest of the state and its people.

Democrat Kwame Raoul is the incumbent. He's being challenged by Republican Tom DeVore.

DeVore is an attorney from southern Illinois. Many voters may remember that he filed several lawsuits against Gov. JB Pritzker's administration over COVID mitigations.

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DeVore said he's running to quote "be a check on unchecked power and corruption."

Raoul has been attorney general since January 2019. Before that, he served as an Illinois state senator for 14 years. Raoul's legal career began in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Our Chicago: Part 2

When is Illinois Election Day 2022? Democratic incumbent Kwame Raoul and Republican challenger Tom DeVore are vying for the attorney general seat.

In January, a much talked about piece of criminal justice legislation will take effect in Illinois.

Many know it as the Safe-T Act. It includes a number of changes in police certification and use of body cameras. What's getting the most attention is the elimination of cash bail.

Supporters said it makes the system more fair. Critics said it will mean dangerous people being released, impacting public safety. And dozens of state's attorneys from across Illinois have filed lawsuits over the legislation's constitutionality and public safety concerns.

"I think that's fear mongering," said Raoul, "Like any legislation, I served 14 years in the legislature, we return every year and we amend legislation so there's definitely things to be cleared up in the Safe-T Act."

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Raoul added that "the legislature is having conversations with the state's attorneys with other law enforcement and I think there's a veto session that occurs before January 1st, when the Safe-T Act's provisions with regards to pre-trial detention would take effect. The Safe-T Act has already been amended in other portions of it."

DeVore had this to say about the legislation: "If I'm the attorney general, I'll actually join those 58 state's attorneys both Democrat and Republican and work to get this thing deemed unconstitutional."

DeVore said it's unconstitutional in its totality "because it violates, among other things, the single issue rule of the constitution. This bill touches on up to as many as eight topics, and you can't do that under the constitution."

DeVore has said during his campaign he wants to be tough on crime. So, how would he do that?

"To be tough on crime means that there has to be an understanding in our state that if you break the law, that you're going to be prosecuted," he said. "Now, obviously, that has to be coupled with the legislature and other administrative agencies doing their job to figure out why the crimes continue to be committed, that's a separate conversation."

One big issue across the Chicago area in recent months has been organized retail crime.

Raoul described what his office has been doing to tackle the issue, "We have taken a comprehensive approach to tackling this problem.

"I co-chair a national task force on organized retail crime as well as a task force within our state and we've been educating law enforcement partners throughout the state. We've had several successful busts. We've had stings going on at different shopping malls and it's been a great partnership," he said.