Former Justice Eileen O'Neill Burke wins Chicago prosecutor's Democratic primary.

Chicago — Former appellate judge Eileen O'Neill Burke defeated party-backed Clayton Harris III in the Democratic primary for Cook County state's attorney.

State's Attorney Kim Foxx's decision not to run again leaves the race open. It was one of the most heated Illinois primary fights on March 19. The AP called that race Friday.

“It was worth the wait,” O'Neill Burke remarked Friday. “I am honored to be the Democratic Cook County State's Attorney nominee. Congratulations to Clayton Harris on a tough campaign. We love our wonderful city and Cook County, notwithstanding our election differences.”

Harris conceded Friday night and contacted O'Neill Burke to commend her win. “We must do more. Harris stated that he would continue to prosecute hate crimes, carjacking, armed robbery, and gun violence in our communities.

Harris received support from labor groups, progressive and establishment Democrats, and key Republican fundraisers, while O'Neill Burke led in funding.

The campaign is the latest sign of the breakdown of progressive Democrats who won big city prosecutor seats during the past decade. Progressive policies have been blamed for city safety issues in other cities, making reelection difficult for progressive Democrats. Chicago candidates lauded and questioned Foxx's leadership.

O'Neill Burke stated, “Across every neighborhood and every town in Cook County, people told me the same thing: we want a fair criminal justice system that works for everyone.” “We want a competent State’s Attorney’s Office. Take illegal guns and assault weapons off the streets. We want less crime and safer communities by turning people around, not locking them up.

O'Neill Burke judged Cook County and appellate court. The state's attorney's office employed her. Cook County is mostly Democratic, therefore O'Neill Burke should win in November. Libertarian Andrew Charles Kopinski and Republican Alderman Bob Fioretti are running.

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