Kim Foxx reelected as Cook County State’s Attorney

Kim+Foxx+at+the+Illinois+Primary+Election+night+earlier+this+year.+Foxx+was+reelected+for+Cook+County+State%E2%80%99s+Attorney+Tuesday+night%2C+pulling+in+52+percent+of+the+votes.+%0A

Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune

Kim Foxx at the Illinois Primary Election night earlier this year. Foxx was reelected for Cook County State’s Attorney Tuesday night, pulling in 52 percent of the votes.

Sam Heller, Assistant City Editor

In a highly-contested race, Kim Foxx was reelected as Cook County State’s Attorney on Tuesday night.

With 93 percent of votes counted, Foxx received 52.6 percent of the vote. Republican nominee Pat O’Brien conceded the election to Foxx at 10:30 p.m., receiving around 40 percent of the vote. Libertarian Brian Dennehy received just over 6 percent of the vote.

Since Foxx was elected to the position in 2016, she has garnered a reputation of working toward criminal justice reforms and decriminalizing drug charges, shifting away from petty crimes and toward more substantial unlawful activity.

This year’s race was much tighter than in 2016, when she won with 72 percent of the vote and her Republican opponent only received 28 percent.

Tuesday’s results were impacted by the Jussie Smollett controversy from last year — a case O’Brien used to attack Foxx throughout the election cycle. In January of 2019, Smollett, an actor known for his role on the television show “Empire,” had been indicted for filing a false police report. He said he was the victim of a violent racist and homophobic hate crime, but evidence indicated Smollett had staged the incident.

Foxx dropped all criminal charges against Smollett in March 2019, angering her opponents. This became the crux of O’Brien’s campaign, whose slogan was “Fire Kim Foxx,” and called her unfit to be the State’s Attorney.

“Hopefully the next four years will find us in a better position than we are now,” O’Brien said in a speech he gave Tuesday night after Foxx was announced winner.

Foxx said she wants to spend the next four years continuing her mission of improving the Chicago criminal justice system.

Foxx plans to reform the criminal justice system by continuing her work in exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals and enacting bail reforms. She also plans to continue decreasing violent crimes and incarcerations in the county.

Another part of her platform has been addressing the civil unrest in Chicago over the past summer, and working to address issues of race in the criminal justice system head on.

“I know as a county we are better with the tough conversations about race,” she said after winning the election. “We won’t have to recycle the fear and terror we saw this summer, and not do the easy thing which is to be distracted by one issue and not talk about the bigger one.”

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