The incumbent Democrat fought off competition from the tough-on-crime Republican candidate.
Tuesday night’s results showed reformer and Democrat Kim Foxx Kim Foxx leading Republican Pat O’Brien by 53.3 percent to 40.1 percent with 96.1 percent of precincts reporting. Foxx held the lead all night until her Republican challenger conceded more than three hours after the polls had closed.
Republican Patrick O’Brien was by and large Foxx’s main threat to her second term in Cook County state’s attorney position with Libertarian candidate Brian Dennehy only drawing 6.6 percent of the vote. O’Brien positioned himself as a tough-on-crime candidate contrasting greatly with Foxx’s more reformative views and it was their views on how the city is to tackle its issues with violent crime that defined the race.
Foxx, a Chicago native, was first elected in 2016 and her victory was widely celebrated by activists and civil rights campaigners who recognized her as a mover and shaker that would bring in a new era at the State’s Attorney’s Office. She’s since been commended for reforms but faced criticism on a national scale for dropping felony cases involving charges of murder and serious offenses, her office’s handling of the Jussie Smollett scandal, and her response to the summer protests and riots. Her leniency has come under the national spotlight and she was in the headlines was once again earlier this year when she refrained from prosecuting looters.
The Chicago Board of Elections reported a clear divide between voting in the city with Foxx winning a clear majority and suburban Cook County which largely voted for O’Brien. 62 percent of Chicago voted for Foxx and 30.46 percent for O’Brien with 94.3 percent of precincts reporting while Suburban Cook County election results showed that 42.5 percent voted for Foxx and 51 percent voted for O’Brien with 95.7 percent of precincts reporting.
Though Foxx and O’Brien traded barbs for months Foxx said O’Brien called her to congratulate her on the victory. “I received a call from Judge O’Brien congratulating me on tonight’s victory,” Foxx said. “I want to thank him for running a formidable race on behalf of the people of Cook County.”
Foxx has long had the support of many prominent local Democrats including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as well as national politicians such as the vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris. Upon retaining the position as Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx declared “Tonight, voters chose safety and justice instead of law and order. They chose criminal justice reform and equity instead of wrongful convictions. They chose a way forward instead of going back.”