How Chris Pfannkuche can best help Cook County

It is high time, don’t you think, for a Republican to do something righteous?

Christopher E.K. Pfannkuche might be just the man for the job.

If his name doesn’t ring a bell, which is understandable, Pfannkuche is the Republican candidate for Cook County state’s attorney who’s pitted against Democrat Kim Foxx in the November 8 general election.

Chris Pfannkuche and Anita Alvarez

Republican nominee for State’s Attorney Chris Pfannkuche (left) and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez

I know Pfannkuche only by reputation — which is that of reasonable and well-intentioned former assistant state’s attorney who is serious about improving the fairness and efficiency of the Cook County justice system.

Assuming that his reputation and reality are one in the same, perhaps he will entertain my suggestion, which is that he immediately announce that he will withdraw from the race on August 31, the date after which the Republicans could not put another name on the ballot.

Pfannkuche should couple the announcement of his planned withdrawal with an explanation for the delay, a call for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign posthaste, and a call for the Cook County Board to appoint Alvarez’s successor immediately — thus advancing the installation of Foxx by roughly eight months.

The departure of Alvarez, the lamest of lame ducks, is urgent, if the public is to have any confidence in the integrity of the prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald — the case that led to Foxx’s overwhelming triumph in last weeks’ primary election.

As far as Pfannkuche is concerned, pulling out would be the best thing he could do to advance his avowed goal of bettering the system; it also would save him from an ignominious, all-but-certain defeat by Foxx.

What I’m calling for would be unprecedented.

Given the deplorable current state of affairs, however, it would be a valiant step toward restoring public confidence in Cook County justice — an admirable legacy for Pfannukche, the alternative to which is relegating his name to the status of an inglorious footnote in the annals of local politics.

The choice is his.

Rob Warden is co-director of Injustice Watch.

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