Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine won't run for re-election
By Associated Press
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007
Dick Devine says he won't run for a fourth term as Cook County state's attorney.
The 64-year-old says he loves the job and will miss it very much. But he says it's time to move on.
Devine was elected as the county's top prosecutor in November 1996 and took office the following month.
He has personally prosecuted several recent high-profile cases, including the conviction of Juan Luna in the Brown's Chicken and Pasta massacre.
Devine says he plans to continue to run the office, which has more than 900 prosecutors, until his term ends.
A very interesting Cook County State's Attorney election ready to start
Richard Devine's announcement Friday that he would not seek re-election to a fourth term next year touched off a scramble by hopefuls who will be vying for the job in what for now looks like a wide-open field. 'No matter who we endorse, some of these people have already said if they don't get endorsed they're going to run anyway,' said Joseph Berrios, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. 'It's going to be a free-for-all when it's all said and done.'
The Democratic primary election Feb. 5 is shaping up to be the most competitive since Daley beat Ald. Edward Burke in 1980 to win the party's nomination. Daley went on to upset Bernard Carey in the general election.
More than a half-dozen Democrats are publicly proclaiming interest in the job, a mixture of well-known political names and behind-the-scenes career prosecutors from within the office.
But the state's attorney's job is one office where Republicans can't be so easily written off in heavily Democratic Cook County. Carey (1972-80) and O'Malley (1990-96) each held the office for two terms. County Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-Riverside), who has worked to build his profile in recent years, is gearing up for a shot at the office.
Peraica, who waged a vigorous campaign for county board president last fall but lost to Todd Stroger, is expected to announce his candidacy next week. He said public corruption should be an important issue in the campaign.
'Any Democrat that is backed by the regular Democratic machine in the County of Cook is going to be a caretaker and a person that will be expected to toe the line, sweep these things under the rug and not do anything controversial,' Peraica said.
A number of prospective Democratic candidates said Friday they would not shy from investigating legitimate allegations of public corruption, but some stressed that the office is about more than handling one issue.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), Ald. Thomas Allen (38th) and County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) have said they are in the race.
Other Democrats who are considering a run include: Sheriff Tom Dart, Treasurer Maria Pappas, County Commissioner Mike Quigley, Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr., attorney Tommy Brewer, and top Devine aides Bob Milan and Anita Alvarez.