Months after the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald put Chicago in national headlines, the prosecutor under fire for the handling of the case lost her re-election bid.
Embattled incumbent Anita Alvarez was defeated during Tuesday's primary by former Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for the Democratic nomination for Cook County State’s Attorney.
Foxx beat out Alvarez and former state and federal prosecutor Donna More for the nomination.
"I want to be absolutely clear in all of the jubilance about what’s happening that this race is not so much just about saying goodbye, it’s about turning a page," Foxx told supporters on Tuesday. "I understand the excitement but let us not get lost in the gravity in the work that’s ahead of us."
"The work that we have to do is going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach," she said, "and it is one that I am honored and humbled to be tasked with taking on."
Alvarez called Foxx to concede the Democratic nomination just before 9 p.m., according to Alvarez's campaign.
"The people of Cook County have chosen another person to serve as their state’s attorney," Alvarez said, "but we find ourselves here in this country, not just here in Cook County but in the entire country, in a great climate of change and reform in the criminal justice system. I’m extremely proud of the work that I have done."
Alvarez said she assured Foxx during her concession phone call that there will be a smooth transition.
"We hoped that the results would have been different, but I just want to say that I am proud to stand up here as your state’s attorney and I am very, very proud of the work that I have done in this job."
The shooting of McDonald by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014 has in large part defined the race for Cook County State’s Attorney. Van Dyke was not charged with McDonald’s murder until November of 2015 when dash-cam footage of the incident was made public as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Foxx used the case to challenge Alvarez in campaign ads and the handling of Cook County’s juvenile justice system.
“This current state’s attorney’s executive leadership has been an unequivocal failure,” she said.
Foxx received high-profile endorsements from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times in the lead-up to the Democratic primary.
Foxx is a Chicago native, raised in the Cabrini-Green housing projects. She served as an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County for 12 years.
More recently, she served as chief of staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. During her tenure under Preckwinkle, Foxx was the lead architect of the criminal justice reform agenda which deals with racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Foxx will face Christopher Pfannkuche in the Nov. 8 general election.