Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally abruptly aborts reelection bid without explanation
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McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally abruptly aborts reelection bid without explanation

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Shaw Local

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said Tuesday that, “after nonstop agonizing,” he has chosen not seek reelection in November.

It would have been his third term as State’s Attorney and he was running unopposed, having just won his Republican primary last month.

“It is with sadness that I write to inform McHenry County residents that I have decided to remove myself from the 2024 race for McHenry County State’s Attorney,” he said in a news release. “I will leave the office at the end of my term, November 30, 2024.” […]

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Kenneally declined further comment.

* Here’s a February, 2023 op-ed by State’s Attorney Kenneally

We in McHenry County, like much of forgotten Illinois, are exhausted after being forced to wear like an albatross similar kinds of culture-war legislation — elimination of cash bail, abortion expansion, sanctuary immigration — that exhibit contempt for our sincerest convictions. […]

Public officials swear to uphold the Illinois and United States constitutions. However, not enforcing a law because one subjectively believes it to be unconstitutional betrays a fundamental misapprehension of constitutional law. A law duly passed by a legislative body is constitutional. It remains constitutional until a court declares it not to be, not before and no matter how convinced one may be of a particular court outcome.

* That’s… not how he has always behaved. From a CBS2 story on November 30, 2020

Dining out in Illinois will continue to be off limits for at least the next few weeks, according to an announcement from Gov. JB Pritzker Monday. But some restaurants continue to flout the rules and get away with it. For example, in McHenry County, the risk of criminal charges just isn’t there.

The state’s attorney in McHenry County feels the governor has overstepped and the legislature has underdelivered, creating what he calls a “dangerous combination.” He won’t be enforcing the ban. […]

Elsewhere in Illinois establishments have been issued misdemeanors for failing to comply.

That won’t happen in McHenry, State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally says.

* I also don’t recall him speaking out about this

More than two dozen sheriffs around Illinois, including in Kane and McHenry counties, said they won’t enforce the state’s new bans on assault weapons by checking for compliance or arresting offenders.

Except to say this

In McHenry County, State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally has a pending lawsuit challenging the law on the grounds the measure is unconstitutional. With that case still pending, Kenneally said they’ll follow the law.

“We recognize that it is the law and we respect it. We also have limited resources and have to set priorities for the office, and this will not be one of our top priorities,” Kenneally told The Center Square, noting that each case will have unique circumstances.

Without criminal referrals from law enforcement, Kenneally said they can’t prosecute.

* And then there was this 2023 op-ed by State’s Attorney Kenneally that undercut state cannabis laws

Cannabis dispensaries in McHenry County will now be the first in the country to warn customers through in-store signage of the mental health dangers associated with cannabis use, which include psychosis, depression and suicidal ideation.

Dispensaries will also be required to scrub their marketing and websites of any suggestion that their products have medical benefits. They agreed to these consumer protections as part of a settlement with the McHenry County state’s attorney’s office in lieu of a consumer fraud action. Dispensaries that have refused to warn consumers will face litigation.

Since Illinois’ legalization of recreational marijuana in 2020, the defining feature of the dispensaries’ sales strategy has been marketing cannabis as medicine and the antidote to many maladies, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit disorder, immune disorders, chronic fatigue and inflammation.

In furtherance of its strategy, dispensaries have appropriated the scientific lexicon to create their own fraudulent field of medicine, such that one no longer does a “bong rip” but rather receives a specific “dose” measured to the milligram by the cashier. (Or, should I say, “dispensary health care professional”?)

Gov. Pritzker’s office released a statement in part saying that the governor, “is disappointed to learn that the McHenry County State’s Attorney prefers focusing on spreading disinformation instead of tackling the issues that keep actually keep residents safe.”

* He has, however, filed his share of lawsuits. 2022

McHenry County’s chief prosecutor has joined his name to the growing list of Illinois state’s attorneys suing to block the so-called SAFE-T Act from taking effect on Jan. 1, saying the end of cash bail under the law violates the rights of crime victims within the Illinois state constitution, as well as other state constitutional provisions.

On Sept. 19, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick D. Kenneally filed suit in McHenry County Circuit Court against Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as the state’s representatives.

He lost that suit.

* ABC 7

A challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban by McHenry County has been transferred up to federal court after a hearing Monday.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally filed the challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban.


  1. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:28 pm:

    =We in McHenry County, like much of forgotten Illinois=

    What? The far northwest suburbs are forgotten Illinois? Spare me the pity party.

    Good riddance.

  2. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:34 pm:

    Why did McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally have to abruptly resign from office? Because the laws became too woke.

    (hat tip to New York Times Pitchbot)

  3. - Annon3 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    Did he miss out on a judicial appointment and is having a tantrum?

  4. - Frumpy White Guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    If Trumps wins Kenneally might be his choice for US Attorney of the Northern District.

  5. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 3:15 pm:

    Realized even hard core Republicans in McHenry County like weed and couldn’t stand it.

  6. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    “If Trumps wins Kenneally might be his choice for US Attorney of the Northern District”

    …and every move Mike Madigan did was to get Lisa elected governor.

    Enough, already. No politician steps down from a sure thing third term without a reallllll reason.

  7. - Will Colquhoun - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 3:51 pm:

    @JS Mill

    Seriously, the counties in “Forgottonia” should sue Kenneally for stealing their thing.

  8. - The Truth - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 5:02 pm:

    As a resident of said county, I’m really glad he’ll be gone soon.

  9. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 5:39 pm:

    While Rich’s article lists many of the decisions that he should have agonized over, Patrick Kenneally reserved his “nonstop agonizing” for his political career.

    He will not be missed.

    – MrJM

  10. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 5:50 pm:

    Kenneally quit because of reefer madness?

  11. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 7:39 pm:

    So does the party pick a replacement and because they are unopposed they are in for four years?

  12. - Rabid - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 8:25 pm:

    I fought the law and the law won

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