Chicago, IL – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Thursday her endorsement of beleaguered Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s re-election bid.
Lightfoot posted her endorsement of the controversial prosecutor on Twitter and sources told Politico she is fully committed to supporting Foxx.
Foxx’s campaign put out a press release highlighting a list of endorsements by some of the city and state’s Democratic luminaries that included Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush, Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, and Robin Kelly.
“Under Kim's leadership, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office has blocked the Trump administration's discriminatory attempt to threaten immigrants who seek public health services, which would have created a crisis for both families and our public health,” the release said. “She has taken on the gun lobby – and won, defeating a challenge to the county’s assault weapons ban. Kim is a leader who stands up to a man in the Oval Office who uses our city as a punching bag and isn't afraid of the NRA, which is hellbent on letting guns flood our streets.”
“Kim Foxx has brought reform to Cook County, and her leadership has inspired reform across this country,” the release continued. “Kim represents the future of our Democratic Party, standing for justice while rejecting the fearmongering of those who are set on reversing the progress we've made. We are confident and ready to hit the ground running to re-elect Kim Foxx.”
Lightfoot’s tweet endorsing Foxx was also noticeably focused on gun control and battling President Donald Trump and made no mention of problems specific to Chicago.
Foxx’s first term has been plagued by ethical questions, skyrocketing crime, and an ongoing investigation into her handling of a faked hate crime by former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
Two days before the group endorsement, Smollett filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago alleging that he has been the victim of malicious prosecution.
Foxx defended her handling of the Smollett case in August when she got her party’s nomination for re-election.
"We don't treat anyone differently whether you are a celebrity or an average citizen," Foxx said at the time. "How we disposed of the Smollett case, while for some disappointing in the outcome, was no different than we treated others with a nonviolent offense."
Smollett was arrested on Feb. 21 for staging a hoax attack on himself in Chicago.
Chicago police have said they believe Smollett lied when he told police he was jumped by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant in his Streeterville neighborhood in the early hours of Jan. 29.
He said the men beat him, and hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.
Smollett told police that the men threw an unknown substance on him and put a noose around his neck before they ran off.
His manager told police that he was on the phone with his client at the time of the attack and heard Smollett’s attackers say “This is MAGA country” while they were assaulting the actor, NBC News reported.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained at a press conference the day of Smollett’s arrest that that police considered the actor a victim up until Ola and Abel Osundairo returned from Nigeria to Chicago and were taken into police custody, and then the investigation “spun in a totally different direction.”
“We gave him the benefit of the doubt up until that 47th hour. But when we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off,” he explained.
He said the brothers told police that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 after they returned from a planned trip to Nigeria.
“We have the check that he used to pay them,” Superintendent Johnson said.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced on March 8 that Smollett had been indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct.
But then on March 26, the State’s Attorney’s Office unceremoniously announced all charges against the “Empire” actor had been dropped.
The city of Chicago has since sued Smollett for the cost of the overtime the police department incurred while investigating the hoax.
In June, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the dismissal of the charges against the actor.
The judge said that while Foxx had the right to recuse herself from his case, she didn’t have the authority to appoint her second-in-command to take over for her, nor could she ignore state laws or procedures.
Foxx defeated Anita Alvarez’s 2016 re-election bid after that prosecutor’s office was criticized for its handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting.