Chicago — This afternoon, the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and Giffords PAC endorsed Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Illinois Supreme Court candidates Judge Elizabeth M. Rochford and Justice Mary O’Brien in the 2022 general election at an event at Bright Star Church on Chicago’s South Side.
“Every law we pass to strengthen Illinois’ gun law is at risk this November if we don’t elect gun safety candidates in our justice system,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Reducing gun violence and the number of illegal firearms on our streets have been key pillars of Attorney General Raoul’s work. Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien have been recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association and have the full support of the organizations working to protect and strengthen our gun laws and maintain public safety. Together, these candidates working in Illinois’ justice system will make our state a safer place and ensure key positions don’t fall into inexperienced hands.”
“Illinois has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but the gun lobby is trying to overturn them and elect candidates who would weaken them. That is why it is critical that we re-elect Attorney General Kwame Raoul,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “In office, Attorney General Raoul has restricted ghost guns, investigated and prosecuted gun trafficking, held gun manufacturers accountable, and defended Illinois’ law. We need Attorney General Raoul in office to help keep Illinois families safe. We are proud to endorse him today with G-PAC.”
After the U.S Supreme Court struck down New York’s handgun law this summer, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed across more than a dozen states – including three here in Illinois – as the gun lobby tries to dismantle all the progress we’ve made and roll back evidence backed laws that are proven to keep our children, families and communities safe.
As Attorney General, Kwame Raoul has made reducing gun violence a priority as the state’s chief legal and law enforcement officer. Raoul takes on irresponsible gun manufacturers in court, runs a world-class data portal to track the flow of illegal guns to hold straw purchasers accountable, and provides trauma-informed support to survivors. Importantly, Attorney General Raoul cracked down on ghost guns and helped make them illegal in Illinois, which was G-PAC’s top legislative priority this year.
“I am honored to receive endorsements from the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and Giffords PAC that work tirelessly every day dedicated to the fight against gun violence,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “The proliferation of guns in our communities is an epidemic that has devastated too many lives and once-vibrant communities. Guns are neither manufactured nor legally sold in the communities they harm the most. I have worked collaboratively the last three and a half years to reduce the availability of guns, prosecute gun crimes, and enhance our ability to trace guns and gun traffickers, but there is much more work to do.”
In addition to the Attorney General’s race, the balance of the Illinois Supreme Court is at stake in November. Judge Elizabeth Rochford and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien are experienced and highly qualified candidates who have the support of the organizations working to protect and strengthen our gun laws and maintain public safety.
Judge Elizabeth Rochford is running for Illinois Supreme Court in the 2nd District, which includes DeKalb, Lake, Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties. She started her career as Assistant State’s Attorney and later served as President of the Illinois Judges Association. She is committed to fairness in our courts and has worked to expand racial justice, equity, and access to the justice system. She served for 23 years as Commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims and as a judge for the past decade .
“GPAC and Giffords PAC do such important work to prevent gun violence and create safer communities across our state, and I am honored to receive their endorsement,” said Judge Elizabeth Rochford. “There is too much at stake in this election to entrust a seat on our state’s highest court to someone who does not have the necessary qualifications and experience, and I am humbled that GPAC and Giffords PAC believe I am the right person to serve. As a Supreme Court justice, I will utilize my 35 years as an attorney and a judge to increase fairness and equity and expand access in our judicial system.”
Justice Mary Kay O’Brien is running for Illinois Supreme Court in the 3rd District, which includes Bureau, DuPage, Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle and Will counties. She has served on the 3rd District Appellate Court for nearly 18 years. She has heard more than 4,500 cases and served on numerous committees, including the Supreme Court Rules, Legislative, and Appellate Court Access to Justice Committees, the Illinois Courts Commission, and the Lawyers Assistance Program, among others.
While the Supreme Court race is last on the ballot, they should be first on voters’ minds because fundamental rights are at stake. At every turn, their opponents of our endorsed candidates have called common sense gun safety legislation “unconstitutional” and supported the corporate gun lobby’s agenda of profit over people, putting children and families at risk. We can’t let them take control of the court.
G-PAC is a proud member of the Protect Our Court campaign, which has organized more than 150 leaders across Illinois to raise awareness of the Illinois Supreme Court races this November.
About Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)
The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) is the state’s leading gun violence prevention advocacy organization. It was founded in 2013 by survivors to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield.
About Giffords PAC
Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords PAC inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.