Eileen O’Neill Burke Wins State’s Attorney Primary Over Clayton Harris III

Former appellate judge Eileen O’Neill Burke emerged victorious in a tight Democratic primary race for Cook County state’s attorney, defeating Clayton Harris III, an attorney supported by the party. 

The Associated Press confirmed the results on Friday.

Expressing her gratitude, O’Neill Burke stated, “I am deeply honored to become the Democratic nominee for Cook County State’s Attorney. Congratulations to Clayton Harris for running a vigorous campaign. Despite our differences during this election, we both share a strong affection for our city and Cook County.”

Harris conceded on Friday night and extended his congratulations to O’Neill Burke for her win. He emphasized their ongoing commitment to pursuing effective prosecutions for hate crimes, carjacking, armed robbery and gun violence that impact local communities.


The race is open because State’s Attorney Kim Foxx chose not to run for a third term.

Due to Cook County’s Democratic majority, O’Neill Burke is likely to win the November election. Additionally, Republican Alderman Bob Fioretti and Libertarian Andrew Charles Kopinski are in the running.

Harris issued the following statement after the primary race was called: 


Despite all our hard work and waiting for every vote to be counted, I’m sorry to share that we’ve fallen short this evening. I have called Eileen O’Neill Burke to congratulate her on her victory. 

Getting to this point took hard work, long hours, late nights, and lots of missed bedtimes. While we didn’t end up with the result we wanted, we did our part to move the needle of progress. We can’t give up on progress.  

We have more to do. We’ll keep pushing for effective prosecutions of hate crimes, carjacking, armed robbery, and gun violence that plague our communities. 

And, just because we fell short this time doesn’t mean we stop pushing forward on the urgent work of criminal justice reform. We will keep pushing for a stronger conviction review unit, for an end to pretextual stops, and more. We’re not going back to the bad old days of wrongful convictions and coerced confessions in Cook County. 

We’ll never stop focusing on safety and justice.

I’m in awe of our incredible campaign team, the faith leaders, the elected officials, the advocacy and labor movement organizations, and the countless volunteers who left it all on the field to try to win this fight. To them, and to my family, who went on this incredible journey with me, I am forever grateful.  

Thank you, again, for your unwavering support. Let’s march forward, hand in hand, toward a future where safety and justice are not just aspirations, but the reality in Cook County.   

Thank you,

Clayton III

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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