Clayton Harris III (D) and Eileen O’Neill Burke (D) are running in the Democratic primary for Cook County State’s Attorney on March 19, 2024.
Incumbent Kim Foxx (D) is not seeking re-election. Foxx was first elected in 2016. Both Harris and Burke say they will build on Foxx’s policies while improving the relationship between prosecutors and police.
Harris is a former prosecutor and state government staff manager who teaches state and local government policy, including policing, at the University of Chicago. Harris is running on his experience, saying he will be “the bridge, the evolution of what has been going on and we’re going to move forward to ensure that our communities feel safe.” Harris says he will add a division to the special prosecutors unit that will focus on firearms, carjackings, and retail theft.
Burke is a former prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge. Burke says she has more courtroom experience and more experience in mentorship, owing to her time running training programs for new judges. Burke says she is running because of crime rates: “make no mistake about it, the economic viability of Chicago is on the ballot this year.” Burke says she will end Foxx’s policy of prohibiting prosecution of retail theft less than $1,000.
The winner of the primary will advance to the general election against Bob Fioretti (R) and Andrew Charles Kopinski (L). Democrats have won every election for Cook County State’s Attorney since 1996. Foxx won the 2016 election 72%-28% and the 2020 election 54%-39%.