Saturday, September 08, 2007

Trying to figure out who's running for judge

Prospective candidates for the Circuit Court bench in the February 2008 primary are wondering: Who else is running?

Those who've been appointed to vacancies are presumably all running... but there will be dozens... maybe even a couple of hundred... others who will enter the lists. I've found a few already who've put up websites (one of these, John G. Mulroe, the subject of a September 1 post, is, I saw this week, already running ads on CTA buses).

So some candidates will advertise even before filing for judicial candidates opens. But most will not.

How, then, might a would-be candidate know who else is considering the race?

Well, would-be candidates who hope to raise and spend money on their campaign must file this form with the Illinois State Board of Elections. And when candidates file this form D-1 Statement of Organization, the information becomes available on line.

All the names below come from the "Latest Reports Filed" page on the State Board of Elections website as viewed on September 8, 2007. I deliberately skipped judicial candidates from other counties and I may have missed a Cook County candidate or two, but only because committees aren't required to specify the political office to which the candidate aspires. Many prospective candidates may have already established committees; the link provided here is only to the most recently filed. Also, candidates who have run previously might have kept their original campaign committees active with the State Board of Elections; no new D-1 forms would ordinarily be filed on behalf of such candidates. I've only included persons who have stated, in the title of their committees, that they are seeking judicial office.

A September 7 filing discloses that Gerald Patrick Cleary expects to be a Democratic candidate for Cook County Judge. According to the ARDC, Cleary, a lawyer since 1994, is an attorney with the Northern Trust Bank.

Terry McCarthy, whose campaign website I linked to in my August 28 post, filed his D-1 Statement on September 5.

A D-1 was filed on behalf of appointed Circuit Judge Lauretta Higgins Wolfson on September 4.

On August 31 a D-1 was filed for Nancy Hallihan Horodecki's campaing committee, Citizens for Nancy. According to the ARDC, Ms. Horodecki, who has only been admitted to practice in Illinois since 2004, is employed by the Teamsters.

A D-1 was also filed on behalf of John Garrett Maher on August 31. According to ARDC, Maher has been an attorney since 1993 and is employed as an Assistant State's Attorney.

Of course establishing or maintaining a committee provides no clue about the vacancy or vacancies for which a candidate may file. Nor does establishing or maintaining a committee guarantee that a person will actually become a candidate. But it is one tool which can be employed to get a 'handle' on who else is looking at a run.

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