Daily Southtown

Foxx won’t debate GOP opponent anymore

- By Alice Yin ayin@chicagotri­bune.com

Kim Foxx said “no” this week to a debate against her Republican opponent in the Cook County state’s attorney’s race and will not sit on a stage with him at all as she campaigns for reelection.

The incumbent is bowing out of debates because of past editorial board interviews in which each candidate argued their case to be Cook County’s top prosecutor, Foxx’s spokeswoma­n Alex Sims wrote in a statement.

Sims said Pat O’Brien, Foxx’s challenger, opted for “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering” during these interviews. Thus, there will be no debates between them for now, Sims said, pointing to the chaos of Tuesday night’s debate between President

Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“We learned during the recent Ed board interviews, that the State’s Attorney participat­ed in with Mr. O’Brien, that he will instead use the time for Trump-like name calling and fear mongering,” Sims wrote. “During this nationwide crisis, she will not sit across the stage from a Republican that exploits tragedy to win a campaign. We had plenty of that last night. Voters deserve better.”

O’Brien quickly pounced on Foxx’s turndown, which he said was “a disservice to the people of Cook County.”

“This campaign is one of the most important and high-profile races in the state,” O’Brien wrote in a statement. “It is my belief that voters deserve to know the substantia­l difference­s between the candidates. I am ready and eager to debate Ms. Foxx on the record. After last night’s chaotic presidenti­al debate, the voters of Cook County want and deserve nothing less than a real debate on the issues.”

When asked about the accusation of Trump-style debate tactics, O’Brien spokesman Brad Goodman said, “Ms. Foxx doesn’t want to debate Judge O’Brien because he has successful­ly and publicly exposed her failures when it comes to prosecutin­g violent crime and her role in the Jussie Smollett case.”

The debate, scheduled for mid- October and hosted by ABC-7 and other groups, was called offTuesday afternoon, according to an email obtained by the Tribune.

“I wanted to circle back and let you know that State’s Attorney Foxx has declined our invitation to debate, so we will not be producing a debate,” an ABC news director wrote. “That said, wewould like to feature the race in our Sunday morning interview segments. In those, the candidates are interviewe­d separately.”

Goodman said another debatewas scheduled with WTTW on Oct. 26, which O’Brien accepted.

A producer at WTTW said theFoxx campaign has not responded to emails asking whether she would attend.

The candidates have debated each other before the Sun-Times, the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.

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