Haitian American

Haitian-American Kwame Raoul Beats Pat Quinn in Democratic Race for Illinois Attorney General

Haitian-American State Senator Kwame Raoul won an eight-way Democratic primary Tuesday to earn the party’s nomination for Illinois Attorney General replacing departing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

With 94 percent of the precincts reporting, Raoul, the veteran lawmaker from the Hyde Park neighborhood who succeeded Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate in 2004, had 30 percent of the statewide vote. Quinn had 28 percent.

Addressing supporters around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Chicago, Raoul said he received a call from opponent and former governor Pat Quinn congratulating him on his victory and conceding the race. After thanking Quinn and the other candidates in the race, Raoul thanked his parents, family, and supporters during his victory speech.

Raoul, the son of Haitian immigrants, pledged to protect the rights of immigrant families in Illinois if elected.

“My father always taught me to be a proud Haitian-American,” he said. “And I don’t care what Donald Trump said, I didn’t come from no type of hole.”

Kwame Raoul
Kwame Raoul and Erika Harold

Raoul will face former Miss America and Harvard Law School graduate Erika Harold in November. Harold is the projected winner of the Republican primary for attorney general, defeating Gary Grasso.  Harold crowned Miss America in 2003, announced her candidacy in August. Harold has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. In 2014, she lost a Republican primary for a U.S. House seat.

Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul gives his victory speech at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago Tuesday, March 20, 2018. | Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times

“I’m extremely humbled so many people went out to the polls to support me, and I’m going to work hard to make sure that their interests are represented and to fight to introduce myself to the rest of the voters in the state,” Harold said.


  1. Kwame Raoul – 30.3% (Winner)
  2. Pat Quinn – 27.5%
  3. Sharon Fairley – 12.5%
  4. Nancy Rotering – 9.3%
  5. Scott Drury – 7.9%
  6. Jesse Ruiz – 5.5%
  7. Renato Mariotti – 4%
  8. Aaron Goldstein – 3.1%
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