Bill Conway is 1st to Enter Cook County State’s Attorney Race

Conway, 41, said in a statement that he's running "to enact real criminal justice reform that’s more fair and humane to non-violent offenders, get illegal guns off our streets and get politics out of an office where it doesn’t belong"

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has her first official opponent in the Democratic primary.

Bill Conway, a former Cook County assistant state's attorney and reserve U.S. Naval intelligence officer, announced his campaign for state's attorney on Thursday.

Conway, 41, said in a statement that he's running "to enact real criminal justice reform that’s more fair and humane to non-violent offenders, get illegal guns off our streets and get politics out of an office where it doesn’t belong."

Conway's announcement makes him the first to officially join the race to unseat Foxx, who has not formally announced her bid for re-election, but has held campaign fundraisers in recent months. Others like former Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin have openly mulled a run against Foxx, but have not yet entered the race.

One major factor giving Conway a boost - his father William E. Conway Jr. is the co-founder of The Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. Bill Conway's father has a net worth of about $3.1 billion, according to Forbes, which will likely give him a major cash advantage.

Foxx has faced increased scrutiny over the abrupt dismissal of charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself in Chicago in January. Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct in March, though all charges against him were dropped later that month - a move critics claimed was special treatment by Foxx's office.

Foxx was first elected in 2016, when she defeated embattled incumbent Anita Alvarez, who was under fire for her handling of the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014. She had previously served as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney for 12 years, then as chief of staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle after that.

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