Candidate Forum: GOP Candidates for Cook County State’s Attorney Face Off


The fiercely contested race for Cook County state’s attorney has three Democratic candidates looking to unseat incumbent Kim Foxx, who has been widely criticized for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case.

The two Republicans looking to take on the winner of the Democratic primary have extensive criminal justice experience and have been sharply critical of Foxx. But the last Republican to win the office, some 30 years ago, was Jack O’Malley, and Democratic candidates have a huge fundraising advantage, having raised more than $16 million to less than $180,000 on the GOP side.

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More: 2020 Voter Guide to the Primary Election


The Cook County state’s attorney leads an office of more than 700 attorneys and is the second largest prosecutor’s office in the nation. It is responsible for the prosecution of all misdemeanor and felony crimes committed in Cook County. Watch our Democratic candidate forum for this office here.

Joining “Chicago Tonight” for a candidate forum:

Patrick O’Brien says he running to “reverse the ineffective and corrupt polices of Kim Foxx” and to restore order to an office he says is in “disarray.” O’Brien spent a combined 18 years as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney and assistant Illinois attorney general. He has more than 16 years’ experience as a defense attorney in private practice and was a Cook County judge for eight years.

Christopher Pfannkuche says that “unprosecuted corruption” and the “violence plaguing our communities” are the main reasons he is running. Pfannkuche is a career criminal prosecutor working for three different government agencies including 31 years in the state’s attorney office.


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