Erika Harold, the Republican candidate for attorney general, is backing an oft-proposed but never-enacted concept of allowing the state’s top legal officer to call for statewide grand juries to prosecute crimes. […]
“I also would be calling upon the General Assembly to give additional investigative tools to the office to be able to be more proactive,” Harold said. “Like the ability to issue subpoenas and convene statewide grand juries. People deserve an attorney general that will be independent, reform-minded and will hold both parties accountable.”
The idea of statewide grand juries to prosecute multi-county crimes, led by the attorney general, has been floated by candidates for the office for decades. Currently, the attorney general must refer prosecutions to local state’s attorneys.
But the concept has failed to gain much support as politicians fear that granting prosecutorial powers could lead to an attorney general using it to go after political enemies.
* Harold has been on a statewide “listening tour” this month and has received a ton of positive local press. WGEM TV…
She said one of her big issues that she’s campaigning on is the opioid epidemic.
“In 2016 alone nearly two thousand Illinoisans died as a result of opioid related overdoes,” said Harold, “I’m trying to figure out how can Illinois better use it’s scare resources and leverage it’s expertise in terms of being able to get ahead of that.”
Harold, a former Miss America winner, also commented on the potential removal of the swimsuit aspect of the Miss America competition and said regardless of the changes, she hopes the contest remains focused on the scholarship programs and benefits for young women.
Harold also commented on wanting to continue her work against bullying and cyberbullying, issues she spoke about during her time as Miss America.
* Quincy Herald Whig…
Adams County State’s Attorney Gary Farha was among more than two dozen people who gathered to visit with the fellow Republican.
“I met Erika several months ago when she was in Quincy,” Farha said. “I think she’s got great poise, and her views are in sync with our community. Even more than the governor’s position, I think the attorney general position is something that’s very vital for Western Illinois.”
Farha said having Harold as the top lawyer in the state would provide a realistic check and balance on the political system.
Harold said that during her campaign swings, she looks for “innovative programs that should be replicated” across the state. In Quincy, she liked some of the efforts to combat truancy in the public schools and efforts to help the homeless — such as the tiny-home effort for homeless veterans.
“I think people are engaged in the fact that for the first time in 16 years, Illinois will have a new attorney general,” Harold said. “This seemed like a great opportunity to go to the communities and say, ‘This is what the attorney general can do.’”