CHICAGO — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will not seek re-election.
In an email to her staff Tuesday, Foxx said, “While I will not be seeking a third term, it doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. The good, hard work we began in 2016 will continue through the end of my term in 2024.”
With a warm embrace, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle introduced her political protégé to the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday, as Foxx declared her political future.
“I am announcing today that at the conclusion of my term in November of 2024, I will be stepping down as State’s Attorney,” Foxx said.
The pronouncement was not a surprise for many in the room. Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was informed of the decision on Monday.
Kim Foxx won her first term in 2016, on the heels of outrage over the handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting. Foxx won a second term as Cook County State’s Attorney in 2020.
“I knew when I showed up and put my hand on the Bible at the Herald Washington Library as a Black woman from Cabrini, that my presence alone was disruptive,” Foxx said.
Her vision, as chief prosecutor for the second most populous county in the country, centered on social justice reform, specifically on systemic racism in the justice system.
Foxx found many critics.
“What did it mean to be the first Black woman elected State’s Attorney? To be the first Black person elected to the State’s Attorney’s office, in a criminal justice system that saw 77% of the people in our jails Black?” Foxx said.
Her speech to the City Club was a collection of what she touted as her accomplishments, which included her work on righting the wrongful convictions of the past and lessening charges on non-violent crimes, including drug offenses and cash bail reform.
Critics point to a rise in crime, especially in her second term, as a reason for her to go.
“You will not find a prosecutor’s office in this state that has tried more murders, gun cases or violent crime cases than Cook County State’s Attorneys Office,” Foxx said. “I dare you to find one.”
Foxx has faced criticism from the Chicago Police Department, and from Mayor Lori Lightfoot on charging decisions, home monitoring, as well as the handling of high-profile cases like Jussie Smollett.
“They ask me over and over again, State’s Attorney Foxx, do you have any regrets about the Class 4 non-violent felony against a D-list actor who committed a crime against himself?” Foxx mocked. “Surely State’s Attorney Foxx, you know that has caused shame and embarrassment to our criminal justice system. Surely State’s Attorney Foxx, you know that we are all embarrassed.”
In the end, her eight years in office will remain historic, as the first Black woman to hold the office and have the power to change the status quo.
“I leave now with my head held high, with my heart full, knowing that better days are ahead,” Foxx said. “It has been my honor and privilege…thank you so very much.”
Watch Kimm Foxx’s full announcement in the video player below: