Schimpf told supporters, "I am running because we need an Attorney General who is not beholden to the insiders or special interest groups from either political party," a reference to the current Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan's daughter.
Schimpf was on active duty in the United States Marine Corps until the end of May. He was the lead American attorney-advisor to the Iraqi prosecutors in the Saddam Hussein trial. Under his mentorship, the Iraqi prosecutors induced Saddam’s confession that he had ordered the executions of hundreds of Iraqis. Schimpf retired from the Marine Corp earlier this year, and now lives in Waterloo, Illinois.
"I was not recruited by the Republican Party as a candidate, but I am running as a Republican because I believe in limited government, individual freedom, religious liberty, and a respect for life," he said during his announcement. "My loyalty, therefore, is to these principles and the people of Illinois—not to the Republican Party apparatus. And that is a good thing. Illinois does not need another Attorney General who owes political favors or loyalty to politicians or a political class that has failed our state."
Schimpf grew up in Waterloo, where he voted by absentee ballot while he was in the military. "When my time in the Marine Corps was finished, my family and I could have moved anywhere in the United States," he said. We chose to return to Illinois because this is the state we love, the state where we want our boys to grow up, and the state we believe is worth fighting to save."
"I don’t have a political patron or a political pedigree … I’m the son of two schoolteachers from Southern Illinois. I don’t have a political operative whispering in my ear, telling me to remain vague and talk in generalities … I believe in the quaint notion that you ought to tell people exactly who you are and what you stand for," he said.
As attorney general Schimpf would have three emphases:
He plans to focus on protecting individual freedoms such religious conscience rights, Second Amendment guarantees, and ensuring that Illinois meets its legal pension obligations.
He will prioritize anti-corruption efforts. "Only a true political outsider can effectively fight corruption in our state," Schimpf's website says. "Our current Attorney General has an inherent conflict of interest, in that her father is the most powerful Democrat in the state."
Schimpf plans on transforming the Attorney General's office into a watchdog for limiting the size and scope of state government. "Our bloated government is strangling the growth of small businesses within Illinois. If we are ever going to solve our budget crisis, we must scale back government regulation to spur economic growth in Illinois."
More about Schimpf at Schimpf4Illinois.com.