The Illinois Supreme Court has been in Democratic control since 1969 and will remain that way for the next ten years. With the victories in this mid-term election, the court will have a five to two Democratic majority.
Justice Mary Jane Theis (D-Cook County) won her 1st District retention race with more than the required 60% threshold of yes votes.
Democratic candidate and 19th Circuit Court Associate Judge Elizabeth Rochford defeated Republican candidate and former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran in the 2nd Supreme Court district. According to Rochford's campaign staff, Curran has already called and conceded this race.
This district contains DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties.
In a press release to the media, Rochford said, "Thank you to the people of the Second District for entrusting me with a seat on the bench of the highest court in the state. I am humbled that my experience, my qualifications, and my commitment to expanding access to justice in our court system resonated with so many Illinoisans. I am so grateful for the support of my family, my friends, my team, our amazing volunteers and the numerous organizations who have given their time, their energy and their voice to our campaign. None of this would be possible without them.
"Serving in and around the courts has been my life's work. I look forward to furthering that work in this new role as a Justice on the Illinois Supreme Court. I am confident that my experience has prepared me to serve with impartiality, fairness and compassion, and to identify ways we can make our court system more equal and just for all Illinoisans."
In the third district race, Democratic candidate and nearly 20-year 3rd District Appellate Court Judge Mary Kay O'Brien defeated current Republican Second Illinois Supreme Court District Justice Michael Burke.
This district contains Bureau, DuPage, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, LaSalle and Will counties.
A Facebook statement confirming O'Brien's victory stated, "Justice O'Brien began her race for Illinois Supreme Court over a year ago, built a broad coalition of support and a team dedicated to bringing fairness and impartiality to the courts. She's always been a fighter. Justice Burke has called Justice O'Brien to congratulate her for her successful campaign. This was a hard race, with a lot of outside interests who made it their mission to bring their political agenda into the courts. Justice O'Brien defeated them all with the immense help of volunteers and incredible campaign staff.
"Mary Kay O'Brien will be a Justice for All. The oath she took when she first became a judge has been to be fair and impartial and that is how she will continue to serve as our next Illinois Supreme Court Justice."
See windycitytimes.com/lgbt/ELECTIONS-Democrats-may-lose-Illinois-Supreme-Court-majority-for-the-first-time-in-over-50-years-on-Nov-8/74212.html for background on these races.