Endorsement: O'Brien for Republicans in Cook County state's attorney primary

  • Patrick W. O'Brien

    Patrick W. O'Brien

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/22/2020 2:00 PM

The contest for the nomination for Cook County state's attorney in the March 17 Republican primary presents a tough call for voters.

Both candidates have lengthy prosecutorial experience and solid visions for how the office should operate.


We found it difficult to choose between the two: former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Patrick W. "Pat" O'Brien of Chicago and former assistant state's attorney Christopher E.K. Pfannkuche of Chicago, who ran a thoughtful but unsuccessful campaign four years ago against current incumbent Kim Foxx.

Our endorsement goes to O'Brien, primarily because the breadth of his experience is more varied, providing him with a broader overview of the criminal justice system.

Both have established strong relationships with police during their careers, O'Brien as attorney for the Chicago Police Board and Pfannkuche as a member of various law enforcement associations.

Both are highly critical of the way Foxx's office handled the Jussie Smollett case and the apparent role politics had in interfering with the case.

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In fact, O'Brien says that the Smollett case prompted him to consider entering the race.

"I chose to run for state's attorney," O'Brien said, "because Kim Foxx has lost the confidence of the community, harmed the reputation of the office and its assistants and made the county less safe by her actions."

Pfannkuche is clearly committed to his campaign and we're impressed by the thought he has put into it, but in the end, O'Brien's background has better prepared him to run the office.

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