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Joe Birkett Announces Bid For Attorney General (VIDEO)

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DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett is making another bid for Illinois Attorney General.

Birkett, a Republican, announced Thursday that he will run for Attorney General in 2010 even if incumbent Lisa Madigan forgoes higher office and seeks another term.

Watch Birkett's announcement:

Birkett had been considering a run for either governor or attorney general for months. In June, he sent out a fundraising email seeking to tie his cause to the Iranian democracy protests.

According to the email, as quoted by Capitol Fax's Rich Miller, the disputed election results are "a stark reminder that we should never take for granted our right to vote - and that we should avoid becoming apathetic amid our distrust of the corruption-plagued government that has inflicted Illinois for the past six years."

The email, titled "Recognize the Heroes in Iran ... Honor Them by Fighting for Reform at Home," closes with a post script solicitation:

P.S. To reform Illinois, we need the financial resources to match the Democrats. Your immediate online investment in honest government can help us do just that.

The 2010 race will be Birkett's second run for attorney general and third attempt at statewide office. He lost the 2002 AG's race to Lisa Madigan and ran for governor in 2006, before dropping out and running for lieutenant governor alongside Republican gubernatorial nominee Judy Baar Topinka. The pair lost handily to then Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his former Lt. Gov., Pat Quinn.

The Daily Herald gives a thumbnail of Birkett's positions and plans for the AG's office:

Many political strategists argue Birkett's conservative views work against him. The staunch Roman Catholic is pro-death penalty, but he has pioneered many reforms to overhaul the system. He is generally anti-abortion, but he supports it in cases of sexual assaults.
[...]
For years, Birkett has lambasted now-indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for so-called pay-to-play politics. Birkett hasn't changed his tune much. He pledged to use the Illinois attorney general's office as a vehicle to fight corruption, financial crimes, gangs, Medicaid, corporate and public contractor fraud, and bolster more training, federal funding and partnerships between police, prosecutors and schools.

Around the Web

Joe Birkett for Illinois

DuPage County States Attorney - Joseph E. Birkett

Joe Birkett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illinois Review: Joe Birkett at the Lisle Tea Party

Joe Birkett Planning Run For Statewide Office In 2010

Birkett to make second bid for state's attorney general

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