CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Republican candidates for Cook County State's Attorney faced off in a debate presented by ABC 7 Thursday night.
Pat O'Brien is a former judge and assistant Cook County state's attorney. Christopher Pfannkuche is also a former assistant Cook County state's attorney. Both took frequent shots at current Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx during the debate.
First, for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
"Kim Foxx handled this case very poorly and that is because she has no experience in the trial courts," said Pfannkuche. "Her incompetence and inexperience showed through."
"The way she handled it she broke the public trust," O'Brien said. "It is not something that you can then regain. The only way to restore it is to replace Kim Foxx."
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They also attacked Foxx for not pursuing corruption prosecutions, and blamed her for a rise in retail thefts by raising the threshold for felony charges.
"That empowers the criminals out there to go ahead and commit additional retail thefts," Pfannkuche said.
"This is just lawlessness and it's silly and it should stop," said O'Brien.
The Republicans also traded barbs with one another.
"How do you account for the fact that I've got over 90 endorsements?" Pfannkuche asked. "You have not been endorsed by the Cook County Republican Party."
"I'm a prosecutor not a politician, I haven't spent five years running for an office," O'Brien answered.
"But the problem is he hasn't prosecuted a single case in 27 years and he's simply out of touch," Pfannkuche pressed.
"I've heard a lot about being in the office 31 years, and it takes a great deal of, I suppose diligence, to avoid being promoted to supervisor," O'Brien retorted.
While the two Republicans are running against one another in the March 17 primary it was clear their biggest appeal is based on running against Kim Foxx's record.
ABC7 PRESENTS THE COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE DEBATE
PART 1: Candidates weigh in on handling of Jussie Smollett case
PART 2: Candidates discuss bail reform, nonviolent offenders
PART 3: GOP candidates on prosecution strategies, wrongful convictions
PART 4: Candidates are given opportunity to ask each other a question
PART 5: Candidates discuss political corruption, Rod Blagojevich
PART 6: Candidates on gun crime, mental health and youth crime
PART 7: Candidates give their closing arguments