Monday, March 05, 2018

And, now, the heavy lifting begins....

What we've been doing here on #CookCountyJudicial races for the past 12 months is collecting. Gathering information.

According to Blogger, this is my 309th post about the 2018 judicial primary. And while a lot of these posts merely concerned fundraisers, that's a still fair bit of gathering.

And information about candidates is still coming in. The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is going to release an updated set of 'grids' as soon as today. There are endorsements yet to be made. I'm sure there will be more In Their Own Words submissions.

But early voting 'goes wide' today, with sites opening in every ward and township.

So it's time to start organizing all that's been collected here.

At the bottom of this post you'll find a list of all the Cook County judicial vacancies to be filled by election in 2018. Depending on when you come across this post, some races on the list may be hyperlinked to "Organizing the Data" posts where voters can compare information about every candidate in each race and thereby (hopefully) make an informed decision about who is worthy of their support.

The information for each candidate is ordered the same way:
  1. Information that the candidate has put out about him or herself. A campaign website. A campaign Facebook page. Links to any statements provided by the candidate, whether as an 'In Their Own Words' post, or on Cook County Clerk David Orr's site. These are vehicles for direct communication between candidate and voter.
  2. Evaluations that the bar associations have made. The Chicago Bar Association and the the 11 members of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening spend an enormous amount of time looking at wannabe judges. Candidates who participate in the screening process must respond to lengthy, daunting questionnaires (the CBA has one, the Alliance another), disclosing detailed information about cases handled over the years, identifying references, disclosing information about judges before whom the candidate has appeared, lawyers representing the other side in cases the candidate has handled, even providing health information. The bar groups investigate each candidate, calling lawyers who have worked with, and against, the candidate. References are checked. Information is verified. Then the candidates are called in for interviews with screening committees (the CBA has its committees, the Alliance has its own). Candidates must even give the bar groups access to their disciplinary records---not just to material that has become a matter of public record, but to all investigative materials, if any. Not all candidates participate in this process. But, for those that do, the bar evaluations provide a voter with some idea of how a candidate's peers view him or her. (You will note in reviewing these evaluations, if you haven't already, that sometimes the bar groups differ in their opinions. We can talk about why this happens some other time.)
  3. Endorsements that others have made. Some candidates find support among politicians, newspapers, unions. Some do not. Sometimes the endorsements are scattered amongst the candidates. Some voters may find these endorsements help confirm an opinion about a candidate; some will find them of no importance. Voters will notice that there are endorsements listed on candidate websites not reflected here. This is because I do not publish endorsements unless I can verify all the endorsements made by this group, or that one, for judicial candidates. I ask as many as I can reach; not every group responds.
Information received here after today will be added as it comes in, both in new posts here on FWIW and on the individual Organizing the Data posts.

Hopefully by the end of the day, I'll have enough of these individual race profiles completed to warrant posting a 'master' post that will, like list below, link to posts for each race. When that post goes up, each Organizing the Data post will link back to that master post so voters will not be unnecessarily inconvenienced as they evaluate each race. I will 'bump' that post up periodically to the top of this page so it can be more readily accessed by voters.

One thing to keep in mind as you peruse this list. There are no Republicans running for judge countywide. In fact, with the exceptions of the 12th and 13th Subcircuits and one race in the 15th Subcircuit, there are no Republicans running for judge in Cook County. If you take a Republican ballot in the primary, you will be effectively precluded from voting for judge. And, because there are no Republican candidates, again with the limited exceptions in the 12th, 13th and 15th Subcircuits, you can look forward to having no choices to make for judge in November.

What Cook County judicial race are you interested in?
Countywide - Brewer Vacancy
Countywide - Clay Vacancy
Countywide - Dooling Vacancy
Countywide - Egan Vacancy (uncontested)
Countywide - Dunford Vacancy (uncontested)
Countywide - Flanagan Vacancy
Countywide - Hartigan Vacancy
Countywide - Jordan Vacancy
Countywide - McGinnis Vacancy
Countywide - Rooney Vacancy

1st Subcircuit - Hambright, Jr. Vacancy

2nd Subcircuit - Lsmpkin Vacancy
2nd Subcircuit - Laws Vacancy
2nd Subcircuit - Rhodes Vacancy
2nd Subcircuit - Turner, Jr. Vacancy
2nd Subcircuit - Willis Vacancy
2nd Subcircuit - Turner Vacancy

3rd Subcircuit - Delehanty Vacancy

4th Subcircuit - Davy Vacancy
4th Subcircuit - Riley Vacancy

5th Subcircuit - Banks Vacancy
5th Subcircuit - Jones Vacancy
5th Subcircuit - Washington II Vacancy

6th Subcircuit - Chevere Vacancy
6th Subcircuit - Cooke Vacancy
6th Subcircuit - Lopez Cepero Vacancy

8th Subcircuit - Fabri Vacancy
8th Subcircuit - Liu Vacancy
8th Subcircuit - Pethers Vacancy

10th Subcircuit - O'Neill Burke Vacancy
10th Subcircuit - Suriano Vacancy

11th Subcircuit - Kennedy Vacancy

12th Subcircuit - Maki Vacancy

13th Subcircuit - Crane Vacancy (Republican primary contest only, Democratic candidate uncontested)
13th Subcircuit - Lawrence Vacancy (Republican primary contest only, Democratic candidate uncontested)
13th Subcircuit - O'Donnell Vacancy (no primary contest; both the Democratic and Republican candidates unopposed)

14th Subcircuit - Garcia Vacancy

15th Subcircuit - Scully, Jr. Vacancy
15th Subcircuit - Zelezinski Vacancy (Democratic primary contest only, Republican candidate uncontested)

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