Quick – name the last three Republican candidates for attorney general in Illinois. Paul Schimpf and Mike Webster are hoping to become names you’ll remember more easily. Schimpf, on a visit to Springfield, says he may not have experience running for office, but he is battle-tested in another way. “Once you’ve helped out with the prosecution of Saddam Hussein,” the ex-Marine prosecutor says, “the Madigan family doesn’t look quite so intimidating.”
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Schimpf is from Waterloo. He says the time is right for someone who was not recruited by a political party and who has no political debts or connections. “You can’t fight corruption if you’re a political insider,” says Schimpf. “I will put my qualifications up against any attorney in the state.” Webster is a lawyer from Darien. Lisa Madigan, the incumbent, is seeking a fourth term. Madigan defeated Steve Kim in 2010, Stewart Umholtz in 2006, and Joe Birkett in 2002.