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Birkett Reconsidering Running Against Madigan For Attorney General

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Republican Attorney General Candidate Joe Birkett appears to be reconsidering his plans following Lisa Madigan's unexpected decision to bypass running for higher office and seek a third term as Illinois Attorney General.

Birkett, the DuPage County State's Attorney, declared his candidacy July 2. He reaffirmed it after Madigan's announcement with a blustery blog post titled, "Welcome to the race, Lisa."

"Lisa Madigan's announcement does not change my plans," Birkett wrote. "I look forward to offering Illinois voters new leadership in a state that desperately needs it."

What a difference a day makes. In comments to the Daily Herald in a story published Thursday, Birkett appears to be backing off his bring 'em on stance.

"Right now, obviously, the plan is the plan," Birkett said. "I didn't formally announce, but I was indicating I would not be a candidate for governor and was looking at the attorney general's race, and that's the way it stands right now.

"Lisa Madigan's decision to retain that office is something I have to speak with my supporters about and assess the possibilities. But anybody can be beat."

As Capitol Fax's Rich Miller noted, Birkett did "formally announce" his candidacy. A YouTube video put out last week by Birkett's campaign is titled "Joe Birkett Announces for Illinois Attorney General."