Admitting Fault in Smollett Case, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Announces Bid for Re-Election

"Truth is, I didn’t handle it well," Foxx said of the dropped charges against the actor

kim foxx reelection campaign video

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced her campaign for re-election on Tuesday with a video in which she admitted that with regard to the case of actor Jussie Smollett, she "didn't handle it well."

"State's attorney is a tough job. Every day, my office is under attack: from a president who uses our city as a punching bag, the NRA hell bent on letting guns flood our streets, and the FOP clinging to the old ways," Foxx said in the video, pointing to the National Rifle Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. "They’ll do anything to undercut progress, including attacking me personally over the Jussie Smollett case."

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. All charges against him were dropped later that month - a move critics claimed was special treatment by Foxx's office.

"Truth is, I didn’t handle it well," Foxx continued. "I own that. I’m making changes in my office to make sure we do better. That’s what reform is about."

When asked what changes to her office Foxx was referencing, a spokesman for her campaign declined to specify and said the operation was "letting the video speak for itself."

Tuesday's announcement marked the first time Foxx has admitted fault in the proceedings, months after an Illinois judge appointed a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation into Smollett as well as any office or agency involved in the case. At the time of the appointment in August, Foxx's office said in a statement that it pledged its "full cooperation" to Webb.

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.

Foxx will face at least two challengers in the Democratic primary election: Bill Conway and Donna More.

Conway is a former Cook County assistant state's attorney and reserve U.S. Naval intelligence officer who is the son of William E. Conway Jr., co-founder of 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 in the race.

More is a former assistant U.S. attorney and assistant Cook County state’s attorney who ran against Foxx and then-State's Attorney Alvarez in the Democratic primary in 2016, finishing in third.

The period during which candidates can file petition signatures to get on the March primary ballot begins Monday.

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