Buying Time 2012: Illinois
For information on Illinois's spending, and all other television spending in state Supreme Court races, click here.
In Illinois, Supreme Court justices initially run in contested, partisan elections for full terms, and then run in uncontested retention elections for additional terms. Historically, Illinois’s contested partisan elections have been expensive and hard-fought, and the state is home to the nation’s costliest judicial election ever, which took place in 2004. In the most recent election cycle, in 2010, a Justice running for retention, Thomas Kilbride, raised more money for his retention bid than all judges facing retention votes nationally raised over the entire decade from 2000 to 2009.
This year, there is a contested election for the seat formerly held by Thomas Fitzgerald. Justice Mary Jane Theis, who was appointed to succeed Fitzgerald when he retired in 2010, is running for reelection. She ran in the Democratic primary against First District Appellate Court Judge Joy Cunningham, Fourth District Appellate Court Judge Aurelia Pucinski, and Chicago attorney Thomas W. Flannigan. Theis won the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012, and she will face Judge James G. Riley of the Cook County 4th Subcircuit Court, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, in the general election.
Meanwhile, Justice Rita B. Garman will face an up-or-down retention vote in the November general election.
Leading up to the November 2012 election, the Brennan Center will release real-time reports on television advertising in state supreme court elections, presented here at “Buying Time — 2012.” These reports continue the groundbreaking analysis first conducted in 2000 examining the sponsorship, content and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads.
Click here to return to the Buying Time — 2012 Homepage.
March 16, 2012 – Tribune Endorsement
An ad sponsored by Mary Jane Theis's campaign highlights her endorsement from the Chicago Tribune.
March, 2012 – Three Decades
An ad sponsored by Mary Jane Theis's campaign calls her "the Democrat for the Supreme Court."
February 27, 2012 – Theis
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An ad sponsored by Mary Jane Theis's campaign claims that her experience on the bench is "unmatched for Supreme Court."
February 9, 2012 – New Voice
An ad sponsored by Joy Cunningham's campaign says "Joy Cunninham brings the most diverse experience to the bench."
February 4, 2012 – Joy For Justice
An ad sponsored by oy Cunningham's campaign says "A vote for Joy is a vote for Justice for all."
Carol Marin, Abortion Big New Issue in Court Race, Chicago Sun Times, March 13, 2012.
Greg Hinz, Supreme Court hopefuls draw big money from single firms, Crain’s Chicago Business, March 07, 2012.
Abdon M. Pallasch, Sparks fly over mayoral residency in Supreme Court candidate forum, Chicago Sun Times, February 27, 2012.