Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Burke, Lampkin unopposed for Appellate Court; three unopposed for countywide Circuit Court vacancies

No one filed to run against Judge Eileen O'Neill Burke and Justice Bertina E. Lampkin in their respective Democratic primary races for the Appellate Court. No Republicans filed at all. Burke and Lampkin are virtually guaranteed full 10 year terms on the Illinois Appellate Court beginning in December 2016.

Three Circuit Court candidates also drew no primary opposition: Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Brendan A. O'Brien, and Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon. There is at least one challenger to the Democratic Party's slated candidate in each of the other six countywide vacancies for which nominating papers have so far been accepted (candidates seeking the Johnson vacancy can not file before December 14) -- but the winners of those contested primary contests will likewise be assured of election in the fall of 2016: Not one Republican filed for any countywide vacancy.

Some two-party system, eh?

To be fair, Democrat vs. Republican contests are likely in both 12th Subcircuit races, and in the 13th Subcircuit.

But these are the only races in which any Republicans filed.

In the 13th, newly appointed Judge Ketki "Kay" Steffen is unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the Fecarotta vacancy, while Republicans Richard George Karwaczka, Gary W. Seyring, and Kevin Michael O'Donnell have filed for the Republican nomination.

In the race for the Tristano vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit, Judge Carrie Hamilton is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while David Studenroth was the only Republican to file.

In the race for the "A" vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit, there are contests in both party primaries. On the Democratic side, slated candidate James Edward Hanlon, Jr. is set to face former Judge Allan W. Masters. Masters was a candidate in the 12th Subcircuit in 2014 until he was ruled off the ballot. On the Republican side, three candidates have filed: Alex Kaplan, Richard Montgomery Craig and Steven A. Kozicki.

But here is the lesson, and one which FWIW readers must pass along to their less politically-involved friends and neighbors: For the most part, with very few exceptions -- detailed above -- the Democratic Primary is the judicial election. Persons interested in selecting qualified judges in this county have to turn out for the primary or be effectively shut out of the process.

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