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Chicago Democrats Pick Former Judge to Replace Kim Foxx as Top Prosecutor

U.S.Chicago Democrats Pick Former Judge to Replace Kim Foxx as Top Prosecutor

Eileen O’Neill Burke, a Democrat and retired appellate judge, defeated a more liberal candidate in last week’s primary election for the job of top prosecutor in Cook County, Ill., according to The Associated Press.

The result came after more than a week of counting ballots, including mail-in votes, that were not able to be reported on Election Day.

Justice O’Neill Burke is expected to succeed Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney for the county, who arrived in office in 2016 promising to change the criminal justice system with a progressive platform. She chose not to seek re-election this year after two terms.

A victory for Justice O’Neill Burke was widely seen as a shift away from Ms. Foxx’s approach. Her opponent, Clayton Harris III, had Ms. Foxx’s backing.

In the general election in November, Justice O’Neill Burke will face a Republican opponent, Bob Fioretti, a former alderman. But Cook County, which includes Chicago, is heavily Democratic, and the winner of the Democratic primary is widely favored to win the general election.

Crime is a potent political issue for voters in Chicago and other cities, where shootings and homicides spiked during the pandemic but have seen declines in the past two years. Progressive prosecutors, including Ms. Foxx, have been pilloried for policies that moderate and conservative voters have seen as too lenient on criminal offenders.

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