Madison County Sheriff’s captain Kristopher Tharp announces for Senate
By CARL GREEN
East Alton, IL – It’s been seven years since the Southern District of Illinois has been represented by a confirmed U.S. attorney, but that period is ending with the U.S. Senate confirmation of Rachelle Crowe to that post.
Crowe, of Glen Carbon, has been serving as 56th District state senator since 2019. She was nominated for U.S. attorney by President Joe Biden and confirmed in a voice vote by the Senate on May 17. Her next step will be to resign from the Senate and then step into her role as U.S. attorney.
Kristopher Tharp, a captain for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the jail administrator, is running for Senate in the 56th District in the Democratic primary. He attended the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor meeting last week. He is likely to be opposed by Erica Conway-Harriss, of Glen Carbon, a Republican now serving on the Madison County Board.
‘A FANTASTIC CHOICE’
Federation President B. Dean Webb said union leaders are excited to have Crowe as U.S. Attorney but will miss her good service as senator, too.
“We hate to lose her as a senator – she was great,” he said. “Any time you needed anything from her, you could make a phone call and you’d always get a phone call back the next day, either from her or her assistants.”
But it will be just as important to have her serving as U.S. attorney, he added.
“I think she’s a fantastic choice. We hate to lose her as a senator – she was a champion – but she will represent us well as U.S. attorney.”
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois files and prosecutes cases in 38 counties in southern Illinois, representing 1.2 million people. The office is in Fairview Heights, with branches in East St. Louis and Benton. It is one of three U.S. attorney’s offices in Illinois, with the others in Chicago and Springfield.
Illinois’ two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, joined in the vote for Crowe and praised her confirmation.
“We are pleased that the Senate has confirmed Rachelle Crowe to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois,” the senators said in a joint statement. “After seven years without a confirmed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Ms. Crowe has the qualifications, integrity, and judgment to serve with distinction.”
Before her election as state senator, Crowe served from 2006 to 2018 as a Madison County assistant state’s attorney in the violent crimes, general felony and juvenile abuse units. She had been an associate at Carmody MacDonald P.C. from 2004 to 2006, Riezman Berger from 2002 to 2004, and Hoagland, Fitzgerald, Smith & Praintis from 2000 to 2002. She received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Tharp filed papers to run for state Senate on May 13, listing Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn as his campaign chair and Tom Cromer, director of courthouse security, as treasurer.