Anita Alvarez to have competition in race for Cook County state’s attorney

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Christopher Cooper, candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney. October 14, 2011 I Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

She was going to get a challenge. Then she was going to get a free ride. Now freshman Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez could face two challengers in the Nov. 6 general election.

The Cook County Republican Party has nominated Lori Yokoyama, an attorney active in civic and charitable groups. The Hyde Park resident lost a race for 4th Ward alderman last year.

On Saturday, civil rights lawyer Christopher Cooper is set to launch his bid to run as an independent. That long-shot effort will require 25,000 signatures.

Forrest Claypool took 32 percent of the vote as an independent running against Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios in 2010.

Non-Democrats rarely win countywide elections in Cook County.

This election will offer voters three minority candidates to choose from if all three make it on the ballot.

Alvarez is of Mexican heritage on her father’s side. Yokoyama serves on the board of directors of the Japanese American Service Committee and Cooper is African American.

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) launched a short-lived challenge to Alvarez in the Democratic primary but ended it after a majority of his fellow Democratic committeemen endorsed Alvarez for re-election.

Cooper contemplated a challenge to Alvarez in the Democratic primary, but at that time he was still waiting for his Illinois law license to come through.

He has handled several high-profile cases in Illinois courts under special permission from judges and has been licensed for years in the federal courts and other states. He said he now has his Illinois license.

Alvarez ran unopposed in March Democratic primary election.

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