For Immediate Release
Monday, February 12

Media Contact
Isabelle Dienstag (G-PAC) | (224) 619-9001

Jessica Lee (GIFFORDS PAC)

Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois and Giffords PAC Announces
March 2024 Primary Candidate Endorsements

ILLINOIS– Today, the Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois (G-PAC), the state’s leading political force in ending gun violence, and Giffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced their first round of endorsements in the March 2024 Primary.

This announcement comes as part of G-PAC and Giffords’ ongoing efforts to mobilize voters, engage communities, and advocate for policies that address the root causes of gun violence in Illinois. By endorsing candidates who share their vision for a safer Illinois, both PACs aim to build a coalition of leaders who will champion meaningful legislation, hold lawmakers accountable, and work towards ending the cycle of gun violence.

“We are excited to unveil our first round of endorsements for the upcoming March 2024 Primary,” said Kathleen Sances, CEO & President at G-PAC Illinois. “These endorsements represent a critical step in our mission to build an unshakeable coalition of elected representatives that prioritize public safety and work towards ending the devastating impact of gun violence in our communities.”

“Illinoisans know the devastation gun violence can cause all too well. From the tragic mass shootings in Aurora and Highland Park to the daily violence plaguing neighborhoods across the state, countless communities and families have been forever changed by this issue,” said Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “Now more than ever, we need to elect gun safety champions who are focused on ending senseless violence, which is why we’re joining our partners at G-PAC to endorse this slate today. We know that each of them will fight to strengthen gun laws in Illinois and play a crucial role in building on the progress we’ve made in Springfield in recent years.”

Candidates endorsed by G-PAC Illinois and GIFFORDS PAC include:

Illinois State Senate
Natalie Toro, Democrat, 20th Senate District

Illinois State House
Lilian Jiménez, Democrat, 4th House District
Kimberly Neely du Buclet, Democrat, 5th House District
Sonya Harper, Democrat, 6th House District
Abdelnasser Rashid, Democrat, 21st House District
Edgar Gonzalez, Jr., Democrat, 23rd House District
Justin Slaughter, Democrat, 27th House District
Thaddeus Jones, Democrat, 29th House District
Mary Gill, Democrat, 35th House District
Rick Ryan, Democrat, 36th House District
Matt Hanson, Democrat, 83rd House District

See full list of candidates HERE.


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.