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Democratic primary race for Cook County State’s Attorney remains too early to call

CHICAGO (AP) — The Democratic primary race for Cook County State’s Attorney remains too early to call as of Sunday evening, after Clayton Harris III cut Eileen O’Neill Burke’s lead to slightly more than 2,000 votes out of 516,875 ballots counted – a margin of 0.39 percentage points.

Harris has closed the gap significantly over the past several days of updates. More ballots are expected to be tabulated in the Cook County suburbs early this week. Additional ballots postmarked by Election Day may still arrive and be counted through April 2.

Harris is an attorney with party backing. O’Neill Burke is a former appellate judge. O’Neill Burke led in fundraising, in part with money from top Republican donors, but Harris had numerous endorsements including from labor unions and progressive and establishment Democrats.

The race is open because State’s Attorney Kim Foxx decided not to seek a third term. It was among the most spirited and competitive contests in Tuesday’s Illinois primary.

The winner of the primary in the Democratic stronghold is expected to win outright in November. Republican Alderman Bob Fioretti and Libertarian Andrew Charles Kopinski are also running.

It is the latest example of how the legacy of progressive Democrats who swept into big city prosecutor offices over the past decade has fractured. In other cities, progressive Democrats have faced tough reelection bids with blame on progressive policies for perceptions that cities are less safe. Candidates in the Chicago area both praised and criticized Foxx’s leadership.

The Associated Press