Clayton Harris III is a lifelong Democrat who is running for Cook County State’s Attorney to make sure every Cook County family feels safe, no matter what community they live in.
As a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Appeals, Traffic, Narcotics and Special Prosecutions divisions under former State’s Attorney Richard Devine, Clayton fought to hold violent offenders accountable and stand up for the needs of victims.
Clayton then joined the City of Chicago’s Intergovernmental Affairs team, advocating for public safety resources in Springfield, before becoming Counsel at the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Clayton also has significant management experience, having served as Chief of Staff of the Illinois Department of Transportation, Deputy Chief of Staff, and ultimately Chief of Staff, to the Governor’s Office, where he managed the state and 60,000 state employees.
Clayton’s most recent public service includes serving as the Executive Director of the International Port District of Illinois.
Clayton has also tutored students with bar preparation, offered pro bono legal support through his church community, and served on the board of the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic.
Clayton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Technology from Middle Tennessee State University and his Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law. Clayton earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, where he has been a lecturer for the past 14 years.
At the University of Chicago, Clayton teaches Policing Race in America: Black, White & Blue, where challenges with policing are discussed and addressed in search of an answer towards justice for all.
Clayton serves on the boards of Kids Above All, the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, the Art in Motion school, is an active member of the Social Justice Ministry at Progressive Baptist Church, and is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Clayton lives in Washington Park on the South Side of Chicago with his wife, Trena, and their two sons.