Monday, November 02, 2009

Some predicted filings, some surprises as initial judicial filing period closes

According to the State Board of Elections, 205 candidates presented petitions today, the last day for the regular filing period before the February 2, 2010 primary. Not all of these were judicial candidates, of course, nor were all the judicial candidates filing today from Cook County -- but a preliminary look at the filings indicates that nearly every Cook County judicial race got somewhat more crowded. The race for the Riley vacancy in the 11th Judicial Subcircuit drew five new candidates today, bringing the total vying for that single seat to a potentially ungainly total of 13.

Not every race drew another contender: Judge Daniel Pierce was the one and only person to file for the 14th Subcircuit "A" vacancy and he is assured of election in November 2010. There were no additional filers for the "A" vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit either -- but there are currently eight candidates in that race.

There has already been one withdrawal among the judicial candidates: Scott Lipinski has withdrawn from the Phelan vacancy in the 15th Subcircuit; he remains a candidate to succeed his mother, retired Judge Marcella C. Lipinski.

Some of the names of today's filers will be familiar to those who have been following this blog recently -- but not all. However, because of the press of other business, it will take me some time to sort through the new filings and provide comprehensive updates; I hope to start posting again some time tomorrow.

Some notes in the meantime: No one filed as a Republican or as a Green in any judicial races in Cook County. (I did notice that Peter Fera, who ran as a Republican in 2008 against Anna Helen Demacopoulous in the 15th Subcircuit filed this year... as a Democrat.)

What that means is that people who fail to vote in the Democratic primary are effectively shut out of choosing judges in Cook County. Whoever wins these races in February takes office in December -- November is irrelevant. Tell that to your friends, neighbors and family members who 'never vote in a primary.'

And note that the Republican and Green primaries are also made irrelevant, at least when it comes to picking judges in Cook County: Persons who take a Republican or Green ballot in Cook County in the February primary are also effectively disenfranchised, at least with regard to their right to choose their judges. Could anyone come up with more compelling reason for advocating a non-partisan judicial primary?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McLean Meyerson quoted your blog about the absence of Republican or Green candidates on her facebook page, but failed to cite her source. Not a fan, and not surprised.