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, Justice Thomas Kilbride raised more money for his Illinois retention bid than all judges facing retention votes nationally raised over the entire decade from 2000 to 2009.
In 2012, there was a contested election for the seat formerly held by Thomas Fitzgerald. Justice Mary Jane Theis was appointed to succeed Fitzgerald when he retired in 2010. She ran in the 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 beat Republican nominee Judge James G. Riley of the Cook County 4th Subcircuit Court in the general election.
Justice Rita B. Garman was also up for retention and kept her seat.
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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
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 Joy 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.