clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Harris makes robocall pitch in heated state’s attorney’s race: ‘I choose to stand behind my friend, Kim Foxx, and I hope you’ll join me’

The automated calls from the vice presidential nominee were just one voice helping Foxx begin her closing argument after a Democratic alderman backed her Republican opponent.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, left; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, right.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, left, speaks at an event Tuesday in Las Vegas; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, right, speaks to reporters after winning in the Democratic primary in March.
Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images; Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is calling on a prominent Democratic friend to sway voters who may still be undecided.

In a robocall recorded Tuesday, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris urges voters to cast their ballots for “my friend, Kim Foxx.”

The automated calls from the nationally known U.S. senator and former prosecutor were just one voice helping Foxx begin her closing argument for a second term in a hotly contested race that just this week saw a Democratic alderman back her Republican opponent.

Foxx enlisted others to aid in her defense, including the City Council Black Caucus, which put out a statement blasting Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) for throwing his support to GOP nominee Pat O’Brien.

Harris focused on Foxx, calling her a prosecutor who’s “smart on crime.”

“We cannot go back to the old ways of criminal justice that harmed our communities — we need her in office to continue making Cook County a model of reform,” Harris said in a recording of the call, which was paid for by Foxx’s campaign.

“On Nov. 3, we have an opportunity to make an important decision on the future of criminal justice in Cook County. I choose to stand behind my friend, Kim Foxx, and I hope you’ll join me.”

The robocall will be sent to “targeted Cook County Democratic voters” all over the county, a Foxx spokeswoman said, though she didn’t provide any exact wards or areas of the county.

The release of the automated call comes just one day after Reilly’s endorsement of O’Brien, a former Democratic Cook County Circuit Court judge.

Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Pat O’Brien speaks during a news conference in the North Austin neighborhood earlier this month.
Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Pat O’Brien speaks during a news conference in the North Austin neighborhood earlier this month.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

In a statement Wednesday, Foxx’s campaign rattled off a list of Democratic allies in Illinois who support the first-term prosecutor, including Gov. J.B Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“We are grateful for the Democratic coalition behind this campaign,” the campaign’s statement reads. “The State’s Attorney is also honored to have the strong support of national stakeholders, such as Democratic Vice President nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, who recently put out a campaign robocall on behalf of the State’s Attorney.”

The 19-member aldermanic Black caucus — chaired by Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) — jabbed at Reilly, saying “elected officials that switch political parties and lack commitment to Democratic values are careless.”

Ald. Brendan Reilly is interviewed by reporter Fran Spielman last year.
Ald. Brendan Reilly is interviewed by reporter Fran Spielman last year.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times file

“It does not benefit the residents or our neighborhoods to endorse Republican candidate Pat O’Brien, who has more than 27 wrongful convictions which has cost the city more than $64 million dollars over the years,” the caucus statement read.

Also announcing its support for Foxx on Wednesday was the City Council’s Progressive Caucus.

A spokesman for O’Brien’s campaign said “last-ditch tactics like this tell us that Kim Foxx is rightfully concerned that she will lose this race.

“Pat O’Brien is a lifelong Democrat who has never met Donald Trump or sought his support,” said campaign spokesman Brad Goodman, referring to Foxx’s regular comparisons of O’Brien to the president.

“Today’s robocall shows Foxx has absolutely no support from local Cook County Democrats. Kim Foxx can line up as many robocalls from politicians outside of Cook County as she wants, but Cook County voters know the truth about her record: Under Foxx, crime is up, prosecutions are down, and families and neighborhoods are less safe.”

Foxx has said she considers Harris a mentor. Before she joined the Senate, Harris served as district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general for California. She endorsed Foxx in February during a primary season that saw the incumbent Cook County prosecutor defeat three Democrats to move on to the general election.

The California senator said Foxx is “righting the wrongs of the failed war on drugs in expunging low-level marijuana convictions, leading the nation in exonerating the wrongfully convicted, and reducing mass incarceration by prosecuting on violent crimes instead of over-criminalizing non-violent low-level offenses.”

Earlier this month, Foxx stumped for Harris and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on a Zoom program ahead of the vice presidential debate.