Race for Monroe County State Attorney

Catherine Vogel runs against Mark Kohl

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KEY WEST, Fla. - In the race for State Attorney of Monroe County, the two candidates, Mark Kohl and Catherine Vogel, are actually great friends. The two have worked together for years.

Kohl was the State Attorney four years ago and Vogel was his lead prosecutor at the time. Both have similar visions for the office. They say that since they left office, the backlog of old cases has piled up and they want to fix that.

WATCH: Mark Kohl | Catherine Vogel

"If you get 100 new cases this month and you close out 90 cases, then you've got 10 cases that are left over that have not been cleared," said Kohl. "Well, that's fine for one month but next month, you get 10 more, next month, you get 10 more."

"You have to triage them," said Vogel. "You have to sit there and decide which ones are important and which ones are the ones that you will take to the wall so to speak, and which ones are cases that can be negotiated out."

Kohl and Vogel are both career prosecutors. He started out in West Palm Beach before moving to the Florida Keys.

Vogel spent most of her time in Miami, handling high profile murder cases like the disappearance of Jimmy Ryce. 

READ: Monroe County candidates

If elected, Vogel said she would focus on strengthening ties with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

"We have a lot of problems with substance abuse, whether it is drunk driving, DUI whether it's sales of cocaine," said Vogel. 

Kohl also wants to wipe out the drug problem, but his primary goal is to keep career criminals locked up.

"There is a small number of people that commit a large portion of the crimes, and those people need to be locked up," said Kohl.

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