ICYMI: Raoul enters AG race, apologizes for ‘Miss America’ comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Illinois Democrat State Senator Kwame Raoul announced his candidacy for attorney general, he was apologizing for disparaging comments made about Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold last week. This controversy comes off the heals of his latest run-in on a radio morning talk show, in which Raoul lost his temper and threatened physical harm to an interviewer.  

The State Journal-Register reports

"State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, who says he will run for attorney general in 2018, on Wednesday apologized for how he referred to Republican candidate Erika Harold when discussing the office last week.

"'I’ve seen the reaction to the comment that I made, and I don’t blame anybody for being offended,” Raoul told The State Journal-Register. “If I read them without the full context of our full conversation, I would have the same reaction. ... I take full responsibility for the bad characterization.'

"Raoul told the newspaper on Friday, after Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek another term, that 'I think Lisa would have acquitted herself well against Miss America. I don’t know what’s behind the attorney general’s decision ... but I doubt seriously it was any fear of Erika Harold.'

"The story yielded a statement from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, calling Raoul’s statement 'blatant and belittling sexism.'

"'As a cadet at West Point and a woman in the political arena, I have spent much of my career fighting the dismissive, condescending sexism Senator Raoul so brazenly exhibited in his attempt to frame Ms. Harold as ‘just a pretty face,’' Ives said.

"Harold issued a statement Wednesday saying, 'I appreciate Senator Raoul’s apology and accept it. I’ve been underestimated before and it just motivates me to work harder.'"

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