McHenry County First Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese announced Wednesday she will be running for state’s attorney on the November ballot. | Provided Photo

The McHenry County First Assistant State’s Attorney has announced her run for office after McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally, who won the Republican primary, dropped out of the race.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in a statement late Tuesday morning that he decided to remove himself from the 2024 race for McHenry County state’s attorney. He will leave the office at the end of his term on November 30.

“I love the job and will carry with me an abiding sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to represent the wonderful people of McHenry County,” Kenneally said.

“After protracted conversations with family and friends, considerable prayer, non-stop agonizing, and having taken stock of the life’s immediate challenges, which include raising four young children and caring for two ailing parents, I have concluded that I cannot commit to undertaking four more years with the same vigor that I have endeavored to devote over the last eight and that the formidable job of state’s attorney demands,” he said.

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Kenneally said he believes that McHenry County has the best state’s attorney’s office in the state.

He called the attorneys in his office “talented” and “wonderful people” and said the office is well-equipped to serve residents and crime victims over the transition period to come.

“The only thing that has made the lead-heavy burden of this decision bearable is that there is someone of unassailable character and talent who has decided to seek the approval of the Republican Party in filling my vacancy as candidate,” Kenneally said.

“A person who, if fortunate enough to be nominated and elected, will do truly great things,” he added.

Kenneally won the Republican primary election last month after running unopposed. He was first elected as state’s attorney in 2016.

In a statement Wednesday, McHenry County First Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese announced she was running for the position.

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“I have been honored to work for State’s Attorney Kenneally, and I look forward to continuing to work with him through the end of November when his current term expires,” Freese said.

Freese called Kenneally and former state’s attorney Louis Bianchi, who hired her out of law school, her “two great mentors.”

“While he worked through his decision, State’s Attorney Kenneally consulted with me as he carefully considered its ramifications. One of the concerns that he shared with me was whether there was someone who could both excel at the job and who wanted it,” Freese said.

“I appreciate that he expressed the confidence in my ability to fulfill this role, and that, in turn, encouraged me to step forward and seek the Republican Party nomination and have my name on the ballot November 5th,” she said.

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Freese has been with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office her entire legal career.

She says she has worked in the courtrooms in McHenry County for over a decade and a half. “[…] every day has brought a new challenge and a new motivation.”

Freese had been the Chief of the Criminal Division from February 2019 until September 2021, at which time she became the First Assistant State’s Attorney.