O'Neill Burke holds victor event after Dem primary win for state's atty., GOP candidate fires shots

Michelle Gallardo Image
Monday, April 1, 2024
O'Neill Burke turns attention to general election after primary win
The Democratic nominee for Cook County state's attorney nominee, Eileen O'Neill Burke, held a victory event in the West Loop Monday morning.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Democratic nominee for Cook County state's attorney held a victory event in the West Loop Monday morning.

Former appellate court Judge Eileen O'Neill Burke was declared the winner Friday, 10 days after the Democratic primary election. It took that long for all the mail-in ballots to be counted in the race to succeed Kim Foxx.

O'Neill Burke beat her opponent, Clayton Harris III, who conceded, by a margin of fewer than 1,600 votes.

SEE ALSO: Eileen O'Neill Burke wins Democratic primary for Cook County state's attorney

Votes will continue to be counted until Tuesday, but O'Neill Burke said this election proves every vote makes a difference.

"This election shows that our votes count, that everyone has to vote because it matters," she said. "This was a fair and effective Democratic process. Democracy is messy, but it works. And this election showed that."

O'Neill Burke's largest base was on the northwest and southwest sides and in the suburbs.

"This was really a referendum on Kim Foxx, and she had a very divided base of support. Some folks thought she did a good job and others didn't," ABC7 Chicago political analyst Laura Washington said.

Equating the election's drawn out process to the ups and downs of a pregnant woman who goes 10 days past her due date, O'Neill Burke insisted her slim victory margin won't lead to any changes in her positions. She did, however, address Harris' voters.

"We need to do a lot of outreach into a lot of different communities and address what their concerns are. And I think a lot of the concern was unfair, that I was going to be very hard on crime. I want to be effective. That doesn't mean we're going to lock everybody up," she said.

O'Neill Burke will face Republican Bob Fioretti and Libertarian Andrew Kopinski in November's general election.

As one campaign ends, another begins, and O'Neill Burke's Republican opponent is already firing the first shots.

Fioretti accused her of pulling a bait and switch on voters.

"Voters voted for her to be tough on crime. It turns out at she said today it was misunderstood. There was very little difference I'd say. It was Kim Foxx on steroids, or Kim Foxx light, and we see what's happening now," he said.

O'Neill Burke goes into the general election as the overwhelming favorite.