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How Did Anita Alvarez Lose So Badly to Kim Foxx? (TIMELINE)

By Kelly Bauer | March 16, 2016 1:48pm
 Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez lost to Kim Foxx during the primary election Tuesday.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez lost to Kim Foxx during the primary election Tuesday.
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Getty/Scott Olson

DOWNTOWN — How did State's Attorney Anita Alvarez — who walked away with a major win during her last election — manage to fall so spectacularly on Tuesday night?

Alvarez took home just a quarter of the city's vote in the Democratic primary, losing to challenger Kim Foxx's 62 percent. Another challenger, Donna Moore, received nearly 12 percent of the vote.

The loss follows months of intense criticism over how Alvarez has responded to police shootings, with critics saying she was "beholden" to police and didn't prosecute them. Alvarez told critics in December there was "no way" she would resign, despite the scrutiny.

"I am going to continue to be the Cook County state's attorney, and there is no way that I would ever even consider resigning," Alvarez said.

Check out the timeline to see what led up to Alvarez's loss:

On Tuesday, Alvarez's biggest win was in the 13th Ward, where she took home 60.93 percent of the vote, but she struggled on the Far South Side and received just 7.48 percent in the 8th Ward, her low point.

On the other hand, Foxx took home more than half of the vote in 36 wards, grabbing 84.77 percent of the vote in the 8th Ward, her high-water mark. Even in the 13th Ward, where Alvarez dominated, 24.99 percent of voters still cast a ballot for Foxx.

RELATED: Illinois Election Results: March 15 Primary Results (MAP)

Alvarez walked away with her last race, nabbing 85 percent of the city's vote in the 2012 general election after going unchallenged in the primary, despite critics saying she was too soft on police.

Since that election, though, protesters had called for her to step down over police shootings, and the criticism reached a fever pitch in November, when the city was forced to release a video of a Chicago Police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times.

Laquan was killed in October 2014, but it wasn't until the video's release that Alvarez charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder in McDonald's death. That criticism was highlighted by large, recurring protests in the city and the "#ByeAnita" campaign led by young, black activists.

Alvarez has also faced recent scrutiny in the police shooting deaths of Rekia Boyd and Ronnie Johnson. The officer who fatally shot Boyd, Dante Servin, was cleared of involuntary manslaughter charges despite evidence that he fired into an unarmed crowd when she was killed. No officer was charged in the death of Johnson.

Activists also called for Alvarez to resign after police shot and killed Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier last December.

Though they celebrated her defeat Wednesday, activist groups said that doesn't mean they'll stop paying attention: 


"We did this for Rekia. We did this for Laquan," activist group Assata’s Daughters said. "We won’t stop until we’re free, and Kim Foxx should know that as well."

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