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Foxx Departure As Chicago Prosecutor May Create 'Free-for-All'

Kim Foxx’s decision not to seek a third term as state’s attorney in Cook County, Il., Chicago's top prosecutor, sets the stage for a political free-for-all not seen in 15 years, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The last time there was an open seat in the prosecutor’s office was 2008. Dick Devine, who replaced Richard M. Daley in 1989, announced he would not seek reelection. That set the stage for the election of Devine’s top deputy, Anita Alvarez. Alvarez served two terms before losing to Foxx in a landslide after the court-ordered release of video showing the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald. Alvarez made the decision to charge now-convicted Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder, but it came too late to save her political career. A staunch supporter of city police officers, Alvarez was held responsible for the long delay between McDonald’s death and the murder charges.


The night of Foxx’s election, her supporters chanted, “Two down. One to go.” The two were Alvarez and former Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The third, Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided not to seek a third term because it was clear he couldn’t win. Emanuel was accused of concealing the McDonald shooting video until he was safely reelected to a second term. Foxx' departure is a political opportunity for those willing to take the chance, raise the millions needed to seek countywide office and endure the rigors and scrutiny of what could be an 18-month campaign. A possible contender is Foxx’s top deputy, Risa Lanier, whom Foxx praised Tuesday as “her rock.” With a law-and-order pedigree and a billionaire father who bankrolled his 2020 Democratic primary campaign for state’s attorney, newly elected Alderman Bill Conway has demonstrated the interest and deep pockets that can make him an immediate contender. Conway said Tuesday he is "not considering" another race for state's attorney.

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