Attorney Kim Foxx declared victory after the Democratic primary for Illinois’ Cook County state’s attorney race on Tuesday, beating several other challengers who had focused on the controversy surrounding her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, according to Fox News.
Last year, Foxx, widely known as a criminal justice reformer, came under heavy criticism and the ire of local police for choosing to drop charges against Smollett, who was accused of staging a racist and homophobic hate attack against himself in Chicago.
“This win is about all of us. I’ve spent the last four years working to reform a system that is not representative of the communities it serves – I’m ready to continue this work,” Foxx said.
WATCH LIVE – This win is about all of us. I’ve spent the last four years working to reform a system that is not representative of the communities it serves – I’m ready to continue this work.https://t.co/TpX0FOiqiY
— Kim Foxx (@KimFoxxforSA) March 18, 2020
Foxx’s three Democrat challengers made her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, now before a special prosecutor, central to the campaign.
Questions remain about “whether she acted improperly for speaking to a Smollett relative and aide to former first lady Michelle Obama before the charges were dismissed.”
Foxx had said that she had recused herself from the case due to those contacts, but her office continued to handle it instead of turning it over to a special prosecutor. A spokesperson later explained that Foxx only meant that she was recusing herself in the “colloquial” sense, and that she herself would not be involved.
Text messages later revealed that Foxx still gave her opinion on the matter to a deputy – saying Smollett was overcharged — in the weeks before Smollett’s charges were dropped.
A special prosecutor reinstated the charges, which Foxx called political.
Foxx had endorsements from presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
Cook County is heavily Democratic, so Tuesday’s nominee is likely the winner in November. In the GOP primary, Patrick O’Brien, a former assistant state’s attorney, defeated Christopher Pfannkuche, a prosecutor who has worked for several different agencies including the state’s attorney office. The county hasn’t had a Republican chief prosecutor in nearly 30 years.