Saturday, December 08, 2007

Countywide races narrow

The countywide races for seats on the Cook County bench have narrowed considerably since the filing period closed on November 5. Many would-be candidates have dropped out -- some voluntarily, some because objections to their campaign petitions were sustained and they were found ineligible for the ballot.

In some races, the field has narrowed to the point that there may be actual 'head to head' match-ups.

We'll start the round-up of where the countywide races stand now with the Disko and Glowacki vacancies. Candidates listed in ballot order.

You'll note that, in some cases, the candidate's name is followed by the words "Objection Pending." That only means that a petition challenge has been made -- but it does not mean that the challenge will or will not be successful. To follow the status of petition objections, click here.

Disko Vacancy

Lauretta Higgins Wolfson is the candidate slated by the Democratic Party for this vacancy. She was appointed to this seat by the Supreme Court and is married to First District Appellate Justice Warren Wolfson. Wolfson was recently endorsed by the Chicago Federation of Labor for this vacancy.

Dennis J. Burke (Objection Pending) is also a sitting judge, appointed by the Supreme Court to the Murphy vacancy. The Cook County Democratic Party, however, chose Paula M. Lingo for that seat instead. Judge Burke (who had to step down as Associate Judge to accept appointment as a full circuit judge) was chosen to be a fourth alternate by the Party. That meant that he would automatically have become the candidate of the Democratic Party if four additional seats opened up... but not even one did.

Glowacki Vacancy

Sharon Finegan Patterson (Objection Pending) is making a second bid for the bench, finishing third in the 2006 Primary to Pamela E. Hill Veal in the race for the Schiller vacancy. Patterson has a solo office in the Loop; she's been a lawyer since 1980 and, according to her Sullivan's entry, practices in the areas of commercial litigation, employment disputes and personal injury.

Associate Judge Jesse G. Reyes is the Democratic Party's slated candidate in this race. Judge Reyes went on the bench in 1997; he recently served as President of the Illinois Judges Association. In April of this year, Reyes was the recipient of the 2007 Justice Anthony Scariano Award, presented by the Justinian Society of Lawyers for his work advancing the interests of Italian-Americans, minorities and women in the legal profession. Judge Reyes has received wide acclaim for his work collecting childrens' books and distributing them to needy families. Before going on the bench, Reyes served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and as an attorney for the Chicago Board of Education.

Terry MacCarthy's website touts his 12-year membership in AFSCME. That may have figured in the the decision by the Chicago Federation of Labor to endorse MacCarthy in this race. MacCarthy is an Assistant Cook County Public Defender and has been a lawyer since 1990.

Luther Franklin Spence (Objection Pending), a lawyer since 1975, has his office in Maywood. He does criminal defense and personal injury work.

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