Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Five seek Democratic nomination for Rochford vacancy in 12th Subcircuit

Judge Andrea M. Schleifer was appointed to this vacancy by the Illinois Supreme Court in late 2010. She filed in the Democratic primary for this vacancy Monday.

(Only in the 12th Subcircuit and the 4th Subcircuit have judicial candidates filed in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. In the 13th Subcircuit only Republicans have filed so far. Everywhere else, including in all countywide judicial races, judicial hopefuls have filed only in the Democratic primary. The sole Republican candidate for the Rochford vacancy -- so far -- is James Paul Pieczonka, a lawyer who maintains an office in Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood.)

Judge Schleifer has four opponents (so far) in the Democratic primary. One is Robert P. Babbitt who, like Pieczonka, maintains a law office in Edison Park. Licensed in Illinois since 1978, this will be Babbitt's fourth try for the bench. He ran in 1986 and 1988 and, in 1992, the first year of subcircuit elections in Cook County, when Babbitt sought a vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit.

Criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bae has also filed in this race. An Illinois attorney since 1997, Bae was in the news last year defending CBS2 reporter Jay Levine against charges of misdemeanor assault. Levine was accused of threatening to "deck" right-wing broadcaster William J. Kelly at the 2010 Columbus Day Parade(at the time Kelly was heard on Chicago's WIND-AM). Levine allegedly lost his temper when Kelly kept interrupting then-mayoral candidate Rahm Emmanuel. (Levine was cleared of all charges.)

The other two candidates filing in this race are Assistant Public Defender Michael John Halloran and Daniel P. Scott, who practices with the Chicago firm of Chepov & Scott LLC. Halloran made a run for the Devlin vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit in 2008. Scott has not previously sought judicial office, but he did make a run for the Illinois House in 2002. Halloran has been licensed in Illinois since 1987; Scott has been an Illinois attorney since 1992.

I have been unable to locate campaign websites for Babbitt, Bae, Halloran or Scott. Judge Schleifer's campaign website is linked in the sidebar.

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