G-PAC and Giffords PAC Endorse Attorney General Raoul and IL Supreme Court Candidates 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


G-PAC and Giffords PAC Endorse Attorney General Raoul and IL Supreme Court Candidates 

Chicago — This afternoon, the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and Giffords PAC endorsed Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Illinois Supreme Court candidates Judge Elizabeth M. Rochford and Justice Mary O’Brien in the 2022 general election at an event at Bright Star Church on Chicago’s South Side.

“Every law we pass to strengthen Illinois’ gun law is at risk this November if we don’t elect gun safety candidates in our justice system,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Reducing gun violence and the number of illegal firearms on our streets have been key pillars of Attorney General Raoul’s work.  Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien have been recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association and have the full support of the organizations working to protect and strengthen our gun laws and maintain public safety. Together, these candidates working in Illinois’ justice system will make our state a safer place and ensure key positions don’t fall into inexperienced hands.”

“Illinois has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but the gun lobby is trying to overturn them and elect candidates who would weaken them. That is why it is critical that we re-elect Attorney General Kwame Raoul,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “In office, Attorney General Raoul has restricted ghost guns, investigated and prosecuted gun trafficking, held gun manufacturers accountable, and defended Illinois’ law. We need Attorney General Raoul in office to help keep Illinois families safe. We are proud to endorse him today with G-PAC.”

After the U.S Supreme Court struck down New York’s handgun law this summer, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed across more than a dozen states – including three here in Illinois – as the gun lobby tries to dismantle all the progress we’ve made and roll back evidence backed laws that are proven to keep our children, families and communities safe.

As Attorney General, Kwame Raoul has made reducing gun violence a priority as the state’s chief legal and law enforcement officer. Raoul takes on irresponsible gun manufacturers in court, runs a world-class data portal to track the flow of illegal guns to hold straw purchasers accountable, and provides trauma-informed support to survivors. Importantly, Attorney General Raoul cracked down on ghost guns and helped make them illegal in Illinois, which was G-PAC’s top legislative priority this year.

“I am honored to receive endorsements from the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and Giffords PAC that work tirelessly every day dedicated to the fight against gun violence,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “The proliferation of guns in our communities is an epidemic that has devastated too many lives and once-vibrant communities. Guns are neither manufactured nor legally sold in the communities they harm the most. I have worked collaboratively the last three and a half years to reduce the availability of guns, prosecute gun crimes, and enhance our ability to trace guns and gun traffickers, but there is much more work to do.”

In addition to the Attorney General’s race, the balance of the Illinois Supreme Court is at stake in November. Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien are experienced and highly qualified candidates who have the support of the organizations working to protect and strengthen our gun laws and maintain public safety.

Judge Elizabeth Rochford is running for Illinois Supreme Court in the 2nd District, which includes DeKalb, Lake, Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties. She started her career as Assistant State’s Attorney and later served as President of the Illinois Judges Association. She is committed to fairness in our courts and has worked to expand racial justice, equity, and access to the justice system. She served for 23 years as Commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims and as a judge for the past decade .

“GPAC and Giffords PAC do such important work to prevent gun violence and create safer communities across our state, and I am honored to receive their endorsement,” said Judge Elizabeth Rochford. “There is too much at stake in this election to entrust a seat on our state’s highest court to someone who does not have the necessary qualifications and experience, and I am humbled that GPAC and Giffords PAC believe I am the right person to serve. As a Supreme Court justice, I will utilize my 35 years as an attorney and a judge to increase fairness and equity and expand access in our judicial system.”

Justice Mary Kay O’Brien is running for Illinois Supreme Court in the 3rd District, which includes Bureau, DuPage, Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle and Will counties. She has served on the 3rd District Appellate Court for nearly 18 years. She has heard more than 4,500 cases and served on numerous committees, including the Supreme Court Rules, Legislative, and Appellate Court Access to Justice Committees, the Illinois Courts Commission, and the Lawyers Assistance Program, among others.

While the Supreme Court race is last on the ballot, they should be first on voters’ minds because fundamental rights are at stake. At every turn, their opponents of our endorsed candidates have called common sense gun safety legislation “unconstitutional” and supported the corporate gun lobby’s agenda of profit over people, putting children and families at risk. We can’t let them take control of the court.

G-PAC is a proud member of the Protect Our Court campaign, which has organized more than 150 leaders across Illinois to raise awareness of the Illinois Supreme Court races this November.


About Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)
The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) is the state’s leading gun violence prevention advocacy organization. It was founded in 2013 by survivors to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield.

About Giffords PAC
Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords PAC inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.

MEDIA CONTACT: ahanns@kivvit.com

As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.