Cook County Circuit Court Judge Candidates Ranked by 3 Bar Associations

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Beyond backing a presidential candidate and weighing in on the heated race for Cook County State’s Attorney, voters will soon be tasked with electing Cook County Circuit Court judges. 

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Why is this rather lengthly portion of the ballot important? Judges make decisions on topics that affect people’s daily lives, including education, health care, housing, employment, discrimination and civil rights.

More: 2020 Voter Guide to the Primary Election


To help voters navigate the dozens of candidates running, the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers and Illinois State Bar Association have screened and ranked candidates based on their qualifications. 

Find out how they evaluated the judges, below, or scroll down to check out their recommendations. We even created a printer-friendly list you can take into the ballot box with you. Not sure when, where and if you can vote in the March 17 primary? Check this out.

The Chicago Bar Association evaluated judges based on integrity, legal knowledge, legal ability, professional experience, judicial temperament, diligence, punctuality and health factors. Candidates were ranked as “highly qualified,” “qualified,” or “not recommended.”

The Chicago Council of Lawyers evaluated a candidate’s ability to serve on the relevant court in the following categories: fairness (including sensitivity to diversity and bias), legal knowledge and skills (competence), integrity, experience, diligence, impartiality, judicial temperament, respect for the rule of law, independence from political and institutional influences, professional conduct, character and community service. Based on CCL evaluations, candidates were rated as “qualified,” “well qualified,” “highly qualified” and “not qualified.” Candidates who did not participate in the evaluation process were rated as “not recommended.”

The Illinois State Bar Association conducted a detailed background investigation and an in-person interview of each candidate. Candidates were rated “qualified,” “highly qualified” or “not qualified.”

(Get a printer-friendly version of the list here.)

Note: Some judges received mixed ratings. 


Ranked ‘Qualified’ or higher by all three bar associations:  

  • Jesse G. Reyes – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • P. Scott Neville Jr. – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Cynthia Y. Cobbs – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Margaret Stanton McBride – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Michael B. Hyman – Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Neville Jr. vacancy
  • John Griffin – Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Simon vacancy
  • Sharon O. Johnson – Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Simon vacancy
  • Cristin Keely McDonald Duffy – Cook County Circuit Court, Bellows vacancy
  • Kerrie Maloney Laytin – Cook County Circuit Court, Bellows vacancy
  • Kelly Marie McCarthy – Cook County Circuit Court, Coghlan vacancy
  • Aileen Bhandari – Cook County Circuit Court, Coghlan vacancy 
  • Elizabeth "Beth" Ryan – Cook County Circuit Court, Coghlan vacancy
  • James T. Derico, Jr. – Cook County Circuit Court, Coghlan vacancy
  • Laura Ayala-Gonzalez – Cook County Circuit Court, Ford vacancy
  • John O’Meara – Cook County Circuit Court, Ford vacancy
  • Jacqueline Marie Griffin – Cook County Circuit Court, Funderburk vacancy
  • Daniel L. Collins – Cook County Circuit Court, Funderburk vacancy
  • Mary Therese Quinn – Cook County Circuit Court, Funderburk vacancy
  • Celestia L. Mays – Cook County Circuit Court, Funderburk vacancy
  • Levander "Van" Smith, Jr. – Cook County Circuit Court, Larsen vacancy
  • Suzanne Therese McEneely – Cook County Circuit Court, Larsen vacancy
  • Megan Kathleen Mulay – Cook County Circuit Court, Larsen vacancy
  • Jennifer Patricia Callahan – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Chris Stacey – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Teresa Molina – Cook County Circuit Court, McCarthy vacancy
  • Michael O’Malley – Cook County Circuit Court, McCarthy vacancy
  • Sheree Desiree Henry – Cook County Circuit Court, Murphy Gorman vacancy
  • Elizabeth Anne Walsh – Cook County Circuit Court, O’Brien vacancy
  • Lloyd James Brooks – Cook County Circuit Court, O’Brien vacancy
  • Heather Anne Kent  – Cook County Circuit Court, O’Brien vacancy
  • Lynn Weaver Boyle – Cook County Circuit Court, Patti vacancy
  • Lorraine Mary Murphy – Cook County Circuit Court, Roti vacancy
  • James Patrick Crawley – Cook County Circuit Court, Roti vacancy
  • Russell W. Hartigan – Cook County Circuit Court, C. Sheehan vacancy
  • Jill Rose Quinn – Cook County Circuit Court, K. Sheehan vacancy
  • Tyria B. Walton – 1st Subcircuit, Crawford vacancy
  • Sondra Nicole Denmark – 2nd Subcircuit, "A" vacancy
  • Daniel Edward Maloney – 3rd Subcircuit, Filan vacancy
  • Regina Ann Mescall– 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • James John Knibbs – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • Thomas J. Condon Jr. – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • Brad Telander – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • Erin Haggerty Antonietti – 3rd Subcircuit, Murphy vacancy
  • Jamie Guerra Dickler  – 6th Subcircuit, Nega vacancy
  • Eileen Marie O’Connor  – 6th Subcircuit, Pantle vacancy
  • Anthony Lucafo – 6th Subcircuit, Pantle vacancy
  • Owens "Joe" Shelby – 7th Subcircuit, Jackson vacancy
  • Marcia O’Brien Conway – 7th Subcircuit, Jackson vacancy
  • Pamela Reaves Harris – 7th Subcircuit, Jackson vacancy
  • Jonathan Clark Green – 8th Subcircuit, Fleming vacancy
  • Bradley R. Trowbridge – 8th Subcircuit, Fleming vacancy
  • Michael A. Forti – 8th Subcircuit, Gubin vacancy
  • Pamela "Pam" Stratigakis – 9th Subcircuit, Axelrood vacancy
  • Thomas M. Cushing – 9th Subcircuit, Axelrood vacancy
  • Timothy Patrick Carter – 9th Subcircuit, Axelrood vacancy
  • Julie Bess Aimen – 9th Subcircuit, Luckman vacancy
  • Michael Alan Strom – 9th Subcircuit, Luckman vacancy
  • Basileios "Bill" Foutris – 9th Subcircuit, Luckman vacancy
  • John G. Mulroe – 10th Subcircuit, Allen vacancy
  • Jon Stromsta – 10th Subcircuit, McGing vacancy
  • Marie Aileen Dempsey – 10th Subcircuit, McGing vacancy
  • Daniel Alexander Trevino – 10th Subcircuit, O’Brien vacancy
  • John Hourihane – 10th Subcircuit, O’Brien vacancy
  • Audrey Victoria Cosgrove – 10th Subcircuit, O’Brien vacancy
  • Mary Catherine Marubio – 10th Subcircuit, O’Brien vacancy
  • Patricia M. Fallon – 12th Subcircuit, Hanlon vacancy
  • Howard J. Wise – 12th Subcircuit, Hanlon vacancy
  • Frank R. DiFranco – 12th Subcircuit, Hanlon vacancy
  • Joe Gump – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Matt Flamm – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Susanne Michelle Groebner – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Michael P. Gerber – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Gary William Seyring – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Gerardi Tristan, Jr. – 14th Subcircuit, Bertucci vacancy
  • Daniel O. Tiernan – 14th Subcircuit, Lacy vacancy
  • Heather Mulligan Begley – 15th Subcircuit, Griffin vacancy
  • Nichole C. Patton – 15th Subcircuit, Griffin vacancy

Ranked ‘Not Qualified’ or ‘Not Recommended’ ...

... by all three bar associations:

  • Daniel Epstein – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Maureen Patricia O’Leary  Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Neville Jr. vacancy
  • Tiesha L. Simon – Cook County Circuit Court, Bellows vacancy
  • U. O’Neal – Cook County Circuit Court, Ford vacancy
  • Bonnie Carol McGrath – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Dan Walsh – Cook County Circuit Court, Murphy Gorman vacancy
  • Wendelin "Wendi" DeLoach – Cook County Circuit Court, K. Sheehan vacancy
  • Krista D. Butler – 1st Subcircuit, Brooks vacancy
  • Thomas G. O’Brien – 3rd Subcircuit, Murphy vacancy 
  • Anne Shaw  – 6th Subcircuit, Nega vacancy
  • Mable Taylor – 7th Subcircuit, Jackson vacancy
  • Ira I. Silverstein – 9th Subcircuit, Axelrood vacancy
  • John Garrido – 10th Subcircuit, McGing vacancy
  • Liam Kelly – 10th Subcircuit, O’Brien vacancy
  • Angel Garcia – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Steve Demitro – 14th Subcircuit, Bertucci vacancy

... by any of the three bar associations:

  • Shelly A. Harris – Illinois Supreme Court, Freeman vacancy
  • Carolyn J. Gallagher – Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Neville Jr. vacancy
  • Sandra Gisela Ramos – Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, Neville Jr. vacancy
  • Arthur D. Sutton – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Joy E. Tolbert Nelson – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Joseph Chico – Cook County Circuit Court, Mason vacancy
  • Amanda "Mandy" Pillsbury – Cook County Circuit Court, Murphy Gorman vacancy
  • Keely Patricia Hillison – Cook County Circuit Court, Murphy Gorman vacancy
  • Araceli Reyes De La Cruz – Cook County Circuit Court, Roti vacancy
  • Deidre Bauman – Cook County Circuit Court, C. Sheehan vacancy
  • Maura McMahon Zeller – Cook County Circuit Court, C. Sheehan vacancy
  • James Samuel Worley – Cook County Circuit Court, K. Sheehan vacancy
  • Felicia H. Simmons-Stovall – 2nd Subcircuit, "A" vacancy
  • Chelsea R. Robinson – 2nd Subcircuit, "A" vacancy
  • Lauren Brougham Glennon – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • David A. Bonoma – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • Scott Edward Lipinski – 3rd Subcircuit, Flynn vacancy
  • Cory Eli Oshita – 6th Subcircuit, Pantle vacancy
  • Kristen Marie Lyons – 7th Subcircuit, Jackson vacancy
  • Thomas Peter Kougias – 9th Subcircuit, Luckman vacancy
  • Carmine Trombetta – 12th Subcircuit, Hanlon vacancy
  • Michael Harry Minton – 13th Subcircuit, Kulys Hoffman vacancy
  • Perla Tirado – 14th Subcircuit, Lacy vacancy

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