Local Bar Associations Rank Cook County Circuit Court Judge Candidates

In addition to casting a ballot for candidates in heated races, such as the Cook County State’s Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk contests, voters will be tasked with electing Cook County Circuit Court judges during Tuesday's primary.

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Why is this important? Judges make lots of decisions that impact voters’ lives on topics such as education, health care, housing, employment, discrimination and civil rights.

To help voters navigate the dozens of candidates running, Chicago and state bar associations screened and ranked candidates based on their qualifications. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “16 of the 80 candidates got a thumbs-down from the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Council of Lawyers, which publish the most thorough recommendations.” Among that group, 13 received a thumbs down by all 12 bar associations (see list below).

Listed below are the "recommended" or "qualified" candidates, as well as the "not recommended" or "not qualified" candidates, as determined by 12 local bar associations. It should be noted that the ranking standards and protocols vary among the associations.

Note: Some judges received mixed ratings. Not all judges that are running are listed.

Ranked 'Recommended,' 'Qualified' or higher by all 12 local bar associations

  • Aleksandra “Alex” Gillespie – Cook County Circuit Court, Howlett vacancy
  • Thomas M. Cushing -  Cook County Circuit Court, Howlett vacancy
  • Mark A. Lyon – Cook County Circuit Court, Johnson vacancy
  • Carolyn J. Gallagher – Cook County Circuit Court, Johnson vacancy
  • Mary Kathleen McHugh – Cook County Circuit Court, Karnezis vacancy
  • Devlin J. Schoop – Cook County Circuit Court, Karnezis vacancy
  • Pat Heneghan – Cook County Circuit Court, Palmer vacancy
  • Susan L. Ortiz – Cook County Circuit Court, Palmer vacancy
  • Patrick Joseph Powers – Cook County Circuit Court, Walsh vacancy
  • Fredrick H. Bates – Cook County Circuit Court, Walsh vacancy
  • Maryam Ahmad – 1st Subcircuit, Brim vacancy
  • Anthony E. Simpkins – 1st Subcircuit, Hopkins vacancy
  • Travis Richardson – 2nd Subcircuit, Savage vacancy
  • Leonard Murray – 5th Subcircuit, Daniels vacancy
  • Anna Loftus – 6th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Edward J. Underhill – 6th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Patricia “Pat” S. Spratt – 7th Subcircuit, Rivkin-Carothers vacancy
  • Rosa Silva – 7th Subcircuit, Rivkin-Carothers vacancy
  • Jerry Esrig – 9th Subcircuit, Berman vacancy
  • Colleen Reardon Daly – 10th Subcircuit, Howard vacancy
  • Eve Marie Reilly – 10th Subcircuit, Howard vacancy
  • Michael John Malatesta – 10th Subcircuit, Howard vacancy
  • Richard “Rick” Carter – 10th Subcircuit, Howard vacancy
  • Marc Martin – 11th Subcircuit, Kelly vacancy
  • Louis George Apostol – 12th Subcircuit, Kazmierski vacancy
  • Marguerite Anne Quinn – 12th Subcircuit, Kazmierski vacancy
  • Jennifer E. Bae – 12th Subcircuit, Kazmierski vacancy
  • Frank J. Andreou – 12th Subcircuit, Kazmierski vacancy
  • James Leonard Allegretti – 12th Subcircuit, Mathein vacancy
  • James E. Hanlon, Jr. – 12th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Steven A. Kozicki – 12th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Ketki “Kay” Steffen – 13th Subcircuit, Fecarotta vacancy

Ranked 'Not recommended' or 'Not qualified' by all 12 local bar associations

  • Gregory R. LaPapa–  Cook County Circuit Court, Johnson vacancy
  • Bonnie Carol McGrath – Cook County Circuit Court, Johnson vacancy
  • Brian J. O’Hara –  Cook County Circuit Court, Karnezis vacancy
  • Monica M. Torres-Linares – Cook County Circuit Court, Grussel vacancy
  • Rhonda Crawford –  1st Subcircuit, Hopkins vacancy
  • D. Renee Jackson –  2nd Subcircuit, Savage vacancy
  • Jameika Mangum –  5th Subcircuit, Daniels vacancy
  • Carlos Claudio –  6th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Jennifer Ballard – 7th Subcircuit, Rivkin-Carothers vacancy
  • Mable Taylor –  7th Subcircuit, Rivkin-Carothers vacancy
  • James DiChristofano – 11th Subcircuit, Kelly vacancy
  • Alex Kaplan – 12th Subcircuit, Additional Judgeship A
  • Matthew Link – 14th Subcircuit, Murphy vacancy

Related 

2016 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary 

WTTW’s 2016 Voters’ Guide to the Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for Cook County office in the March 15 election. Learn more.


More Primary Coverage

Meet more candidates vying for nominations in Tuesday's primary election, watch forum videos and more.


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