- Alvarez had come under intense criticism for her handling of the Laquan McDonald case
- She conceded to Democratic challenger Kim Foxx
But it was the Laquan McDonald case that proved her undoing.
Alvarez, who was first elected in 2008, had been seeking a third term.
McDonald, a black teenager, was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in October 2014. Video of the shooting was released more than a year later, and only then, after a judge ordered it be made public under a reporter's Freedom of Information Act request.
Shortly before the video was released, Alvarez announced charges against Jason Van Dyke, the officer who fired 16 shots at McDonald.
She said then that the deadline for the video's release moved up the timing of her announcement, but did not dictate her decision to charge the officer with first-degree murder.
Alvarez also defended the time it took her office to investigate by saying the case is complicated.
"Maintaining public safety is my No. 1 job and I do not want the public to view this video without knowing this very important context that with these charges we are bringing a full measure of justice that this demands," she said.
The graphic video angered many in the Chicago community and set off widespread protests.
The police superintendent and the head of the independent board that investigates police shootings resigned amid the fallout. Protesters also called for the resignations of Alvarez and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Alvarez was the first female and first Hispanic elected to be Cook County State's Attorney. According to her website,
she has spent her entire legal career in that office. She began as an Assistant State's Attorney in 1986 and worked her way up.
Alvarez earned her undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago and her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is married and has four children.
Foxx is expected to face Republican candidate Christopher E. K. Pfannkuche in the general election.