Republican Peter Garza officially announced his candidacy for Cook County sheriff Tuesday.
The move comes a day after Democrats pledged to support Tom Dart in the race.
Surrounded by Republican supporters, Garza criticized Dart for lacking experience.
"I would be curious to find out what police academy he graduated from, and that's a very important point because it's almost as preposterous as me coming out tomorrow saying that I'm going to be the new director of a medical society," Garza says. "I'm a law enforcement professional and that's what I do."
Garza has a degree in criminal justice and has been an investigator with the Cook County State's Attorney for 12 years.
A spokeswoman for Cook County Democrats points out that Dart is currently chief of staff in the sheriff's office.
She says Dart's law degree and time as a state legislator will also prove valuable.