Two Weeks Later the Election Is Over

Almost two weeks after the polls closed, the 2024 primary election which also included referenda, judges, and, importantly, the Cook County States Attorney is over. For States Attorney Eileen O’Neill Burke narrowly defeated the candidate endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party, Clayton Harris III, who has conceded. ABC 7 Chicago reports:

CHICAGO (WLS) — Eileen O’Neill Burke has defeated Clayton Harris III in the Democratic primary race for Cook County state’s attorney, the Associated Press projected on Friday afternoon.

ABC7 Political Reporter Craig Wall has learned that Harris called O’Neill Burke to concede, and his campaign manager says they will not seek a recount.

The mail-in ballot count has been closely watched by the campaigns of both candidates. But the amount of mail-in votes expected to be received before the April 2 deadline is unlikely to flip the results.

In a statement praising Harris, O’Neill Burke sought to unify Democrats, saying in part, “While we may have had our differences in this election, we share a love for our beautiful city and Cook County.’

One paragraph in States Attorney-elect O’Neil Burke’s official statement is key:

The State’s Attorney’s office has a noble mission to represent victims and uphold the law. It’s a solemn obligation that I will take on with humility and dedication.

That is a view drastically different from that espoused by the outgoing States Attorney, Kim Foxx, who has rarely seen upholding the law as a key part of the office. That was also a factor in the many resignations among her staff that have taken place in recent years.

Make no mistake, this election has been a repudiation of the Cook County Democratic Party organization. Not all of the candidates it endorsed were rejected but many of them were. The tax referendum submitted by the mayor and on behalf of which the CTU expended substantial efforts was rejected.

There’s a reason for this. Crime is up sharply all over the city but the increase has fallen most heavily on the South and West Sides. Over Easter Weekend nine people were killed and 27 injured, mostly on the South and West Sides. That’s the largest number in the last ten years despite declines in the city’s population. Although this is partially a policing problem it is not only a policing problem but a problem that goes from end to end of Cook County’s law enforcement operation from police to states attorney to judges.

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