Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, a Democrat, withstood a well-financed campaign by Republican Pat O’Brien to win re-election by a comfortable margin.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Foxx defeated O’Brien, 53.2 percent to 40.2 percent. Libertarian Brian Denney received 6.6 percent of the vote.

“It’s great,” said Evanston Democratic chair Eamon Kelly, “I supported her. Evanston supported her.”

Kelly said Foxx won despite “a lot of money being thrown against her,” to advance a “false narrative.”

Fellow Democrat Larry Suffredin, a Cook County Commissioner, said while O’Brien raised questions about Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case, “her base never deserted her.” Foxx “did a great job mobilizing voters in every part of the county,” he added.

Suffredin said O’Brien even claimed to be a Democrat running as a Republican, “because he didn’t have a base” in overwhelmingly Democratic Cook County.

In a related race, the judge who appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Foxx’s dismissal of the charges against Smollett, Michael Toomin, was apparently retained by the voters. Toomin was not endorsed by the county Democratic party. The party said that was because of how Toomin handled administration of the juvenile courts. Toomin said it was retribution for appointing the special prosecutor.

A judge must get 60 percent of the voters to approve retention in order to stay on the bench. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Toomin had received 62.2 percent “yes.”

However, the Toomin race is not necessarily finished, because uncounted mail-in votes will still be included. As long as a mail-in ballot was postmarked on Election Day, it has two weeks to reach elections officials in order to be counted.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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