Saddam Hussein prosecutor and retired U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Paul Schimpf of Waterloo formally announced last week he is running for Illinois Attorney General as a Republican.
Barring opposition within his own party in the upcoming March primary, Schimpf will face incumbent Chicago Democrat Lisa Madigan in November 2014.
Schimpf was the lead American attorney-advisor to the Iraqi prosecutors during the Saddam Hussein trial. Under Schimpf’s mentorship, the Iraqi prosecutors induced Saddam’s confession that he had ordered the executions of hundreds of Iraqis.
Schimpf retired from the Marine Corps in May and returned to his hometown of Waterloo.
He is the son of William Schimpf of Waterloo and the late Jacqueline Schimpf, who was a longtime math teacher at Waterloo Junior High School. Paul attended high school in Mehlville, Mo., and graduated in 1989.
In his prepared remarks during a Thursday meeting of the Metro East Pachyderm Club in O’Fallon, Schimpf cited the need for Illinois to have a truly independent Attorney General as the reason for his candidacy and detailed his legal qualifications.
“I am running because we need an Attorney General who is not beholden to the insiders or special interest groups from either political party,” Schimpf said. “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.”
Schimpf added that Illinois is facing some serious challenges, and political corruption continues to undermine the public’s overall confidence in government.
“The implementation of Obamacare poses threats to privacy and religious liberty,” he said. “Our leaders in Springfield are contemplating breaking the pension promises that the people of Illinois have relied upon when planning their retirements. All these issues require an Attorney General who possesses an unbiased, outsider perspective.”
Still, Schimpf said he doesn’t believe the pessimists who say this state is broken beyond repair.
“I believe that Illinois is America’s greatest state and I have come back to fight alongside other like-minded, solutions-oriented citizens to save it,” he said. “I don’t have a political patron or a political pedigree… I’m the son of two schoolteachers from Southern Illinois. In the upcoming months, I look forward to earning your vote.”
For more on the Schimpf campaign, visit schimpf4illinois.com.