Cook County Record

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cook County voters select nominees for 31 judgeships to serve on the county's courts

Campaigns & Elections

Mar 19, 2020

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Amid abysmal turnout at the polls out of concerns for the outbreak of the coronavirus, Democratic voters in Cook County were still asked to choose the county’s next batch of judges for the Cook County Circuit Court.

In all, voters in Chicago and suburban Cook County nominated Democrats for 13 countywide circuit judgeships and 18 judges to serve in the county’s subcircuits.

The elections were to fill vacancies left in the county’s judicial ranks after some judges retired or took positions elsewhere within the state’s court systems, were kicked off the bench by voters, or resigned from the bench when they were convicted of crimes.

For nearly all of the Democratic judicial nominees, they will need to only wait until early next year to begin serving in the county’s courtrooms, as Republicans have fielded no candidates in only two Cook County judicial races, in subcircuits located in the county’s suburbs.

As of the evening of Wednesday, March 18, not all votes had yet been counted or reported in portions of the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County, according to unofficial results posted by the Chicago Board of Elections and the Cook County Clerk.

According to unofficial vote totals, only about 30% of registered voters in Cook County cast ballots in the primary vote. Further, elections officials reported they were still counting tens of thousands of mail-in ballots and other ballots not cast on Election Day, which could change the unofficial apparent results in some of the contests.

COUNTYWIDE JUDGES

In contested balloting, in the Democratic Party primary:

In the race to fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Carole K. Bellows: Assistant Cook County Public Defender Tiesha L. Smith appeared to have edged out competitors Cristin K. MacDonald Duffy and Kerrie Maloney Laytin. According to unofficial totals, Smith had 249,656 votes. Laytin had 204,817, and Duffy had 203,404.

Laytin had been endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party.

In the race to fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Matthew Coghlan, who voters did not retain in 2018: Assistant Cook County Public Defender Kelly M. McCarthy appeared to have defeated three others for the spot on the county bench. According to unofficial tallies, McCarthy had 201,203 votes. Rivals Beth Ryan had 169,200; James T. Derico had 157,006; and Aileen Bhandari had 128,100.

Derico had been endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party.

In the contest to fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford: Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Laura Ayala Gonzalez easily bested two rivals. According to unofficial totals, Gonzalez had 402,620 votes, compared to 141,405 for John O’Meara and 107,739 for U. O’Neal.

Gonzalez had been endorsed by the Cook County Democrats.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Raymond Funderburk: Cook County Associate Judge Celestia L. Mays appeared to have defeated four opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination. According to unofficial totals, Mays had 226,693 votes, topping Jacqueline M. Griffin, with 178,168; Daniel L. Collins, 102,861; and Mary T. Quinn, 141,084.

Mays had been appointed as an associate judge in late 2019, after 22 years in private practice. She had been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Diane Larsen: Associate Judge Levander “Van” Smith defeated two opponents. According to unofficial tallies, Smith had 285,274 votes, topping rivals Suzanne T. McEneely, who had 200,439, and Megan K. Mulay, with 156,184.

Smith had been appointed as an associate judge in 2019. He was endorsed by the Cook County Democrats.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Mary Anne Mason: Chicago attorney Chris Stacey held a lead over five opponents. According to unofficial totals, Stacey had 174,134 votes, giving him an edge over his next closest rival, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jennifer P. Callahan, who had 159,283.

Stacey had been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge James P. McCarthy: Associate Judge Teresa Molina had defeated rival Michael O’Malley. According to unofficial totals, Molina had 475,802 votes to O’Malley’s 166,243.

Molina had been appointed to the bench in 2019 and was endorsed by the Cook County Democrats.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Joyce Marie Murphy Gorman: Associate Judge Sheree D. Henry had defeated three opponents to win the seat. According to unofficial totals, Henry had 334,978 votes, easily besting rivals Dan Walsh, Mandy Pillsbury and Keely P. Hillison. Walsh had 118,954; Pillsbury, 118,449; and Hillison, 71,549.

Henry had been appointed to the bench in 2019 and was endorsed by the Democratic Party.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Jessica Arong O’Brien, who resigned in 2018 after she was convicted of mortgage fraud: Attorney Elizabeth Anne Walsh held a lead over Judge Lloyd James Brooks, who was appointed to the bench in 2018. According to unofficial totals, Walsh had 273,534 votes to Brooks’ 251,607.

Brooks had been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Thomas Roti: Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Lorraine Mary Murphy held a lead over attorney Araceli Reyes De La Cruz, who serves as general counsel and chief administrative officer of Acero Schools. According to unofficial totals, Murphy had 275,113 votes, versus 249,200 votes for De La Cruz.

De La Cruz had been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Colleen F. Sheehan: Attorney Maura McMahon Zeller held a lead over two rivals, attorney Deidre Baumann and former judge Russell Hartigan. According to unofficial vote totals, Zeller had 237,699 votes, compared to 207,514 for Baumann and 186,076 for Hartigan.

Zeller had been endorsed by the Cook County Democrats.

To fill the vacancy of Circuit Judge Kevin Sheehan: Attorney Jill Rose Quinn, identified as the first transgender judge in Cook County, easily defeated two rivals. According to unofficial vote totals, Quinn had 417,781 votes, besting rivals James S. Worley and Wendi DeLoach.

Quinn was endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party.

JUDICIAL SUBCIRCUITS

In the contests for positions on the county’s subcircuits bench, winners appear to include:

In the 2nd Subcircuit: Sondra Denmark held a slight lead over Felicia Stovall, 16,740 to 16,205.

In the 3rd Subcircuit:

To fill the vacancy of Judge Peter Flynn: Lauren B. Glennon held a slight edge over closest rival Regina Mescall, 11,504 to 11,343. Five other opponents also ran in the race.

To fill the vacancy of Judge Allen F. Murphy, who died in 2019: Erin Antonietti defeated Thomas G. O’Brien. According to unofficial totals, Antonietti secured 34,513 votes compared to 18,589 for O’Brien.

In the 6th Subcircuit: Jamie G. Dickler held a lead over Anne Shaw, 20,942 to 17,738.

In the 7th Subcircuit: Marcia O’Brien Conway appeared to have secured a win over four opponents. Conway amassed 4,710 votes, versus 2,675 votes for closest rival Pamela Reaves-Harris.

In the 9th Subcircuit:

To fill the vacancy of Judge Larry Axelrood: Thomas Cushing held a lead over opponent Pamela Stratigakis and two other opponents. Cushing had 21,535 votes versus 19,296 for Stratigakis.

To fill the vacancy of Judge Marvin Luckman: Julie B. Aimen had easily defeated two opponents. Aimen held 26,438 votes versus 12,535 for nearest opponent Michael A. Strom.

In the 10th Subcircuit:

To fill the vacancy of Judge William T. O’Brien: Mary C. Marubio defeated four opponents, racking up 16,605 votes to 9,041 votes for nearest opponent Audrey V. Cosgrove.

To fill the vacancy of Judge James M. McGing: Maire A. Dempsey defeated opponents John Garrido and Jon Stromsta. Dempsey had 18,852 votes to 13,377 for Garrido.

In the 12th Subcircuit: Patricia M. Fallon defeated opponents Howard Wise, Carmine Trombetta and Frank DiFranco. Fallon amassed 22,354 votes, compared to 11,320 for Wise, her nearest rival.

Fallon will face Republican Frank DiFranco in November. DiFranco ran unopposed.

In the 13th Subcircuit: Susanne M. Groebner bested four opponents, amassing 14,590 votes to 8,853 votes for her nearest rival, Joe Gump.

She will face Republican Gary W. Seyring in November, after Seyring defeated opponent Angel Garcia in the Republican primary.

In the 14th Subcircuit:

To fill the vacancy of Judge Robert W. Bertucci: Gerardo Tristan Jr. received 20,838 votes, defeating opponent Steven Demitro, 7,577.

To fill the vacancy of Judge William G. Lacy: Perla Tirado defeated Daniel O. Tiernan. Tirado had received 19,065 votes to 9,549 for Tiernan.

In the 15th Subcircuit: Nichole C. Patton received 31,170 votes to 22,353 for opponent Heather M. Begley.

  

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