Anita Alvarez and Dorothy Brown, both incumbents facing tough primary elections in March, got the short end of the stick in the Cook County ballot lottery on Tuesday.
The ballot lottery was overseen by Cook County Clerk David Orr and Director of Elections Noah Praetz, who put slips of paper with the candidates' names into bottles for each race and then tossed the bottles into a fishbowl. The lottery determines which candidates will appear first and last on the ballots for the primary election if some candidates filed simultaneously. Both Alvarez and Brown filed early in an attempt to get the first spot, but they both lost in the lottery to one of their opponents.
Alvarez will be second on the ballot after Kim Foxx, a former prosecutor, in the Cook County state's attorney race, and Brown will be second after attorney Jacob Meister in the race for Cook County clerk of the circuit court. Ald. Michelle Harris earned the last spot on the ballot.
Previously, Alvarez and Brown would likely have won the primary races easily, but both elected officials have fallen under scrutiny in recent months.
The Cook County state's attorney election often slips under the radar for many voters, but the March primary has become a rallying point for Alvarez critics who want her out of office. In the last few weeks, Alvarez has faced calls for her resignation following the release of the dashcam video showing the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer. While she has defended the 13-month investigation, many claim she delayed filing charges against the officer and releasing the dashcam video to the public.
The election for Cook County clerk of the circuit court is usually a quiet one as well. While it will likely not receive as much coverage as the state's attorney election, the March primary will offer voters another chance to oust an elected official from office amid a possible scandal.
Brown's campaign for re-election hit a bump in the road when reports surfaced that claimed the FBI conducted a raid on Brown's home as part of a federal investigation. Brown said the multiple published reports about the alleged investigation are just rumors, but she nonetheless lost her endorsement from the Cook County Democratic Party.
The primary election will take place March 15.