Few Judges Face Contested Races, Even Those with Lower Ratings
Byline: Barbara Vitello Legal Affairs Writer firstname.lastname@example.org -CLMN-
Of the 25 candidates running in the Nov. 2 general election to fill Cook County Circuit Court and First District Appellate Court vacancies, all but two have a pretty good idea of the outcome because they're running
That practically guarantees their election to the bench, even for those candidates who area bar associations found "not recommended" or "not qualified."
The Illinois State Bar Association, the state's largest, rated Sharon Dolores Oden-Johnson and Bonita Coleman-John not qualified to serve as a Cook County Circuit Court judge.
The Chicago Bar Association concurred, and also declined to recommend Sandra G. Ramos and Steven James "Steve" Bernstein. Additionally, both bar associations declined to recommend current Circuit Court Judge Aurelia
Marie Pucinski for the appellate court.
In addition to these candidates seeking election to judgeships, voters will see a long list of circuit court judges seeking retention in Tuesday's election.
The Suburban Bar Coalition issued its own list of ratings for those judges. Those recommendations, along with ratings on retention from other bar associations, are available at
Those involved in the lengthy judicial screening process are frustrated that individuals rated unfavorably still ascend to the
"If the candidate runs unopposed, we have no control," said Jeannine Cordero, who chairs the Chicago Bar Associations Judicial Evaluation Committee. "The best we can do is to educate the public and let them know (the candidate's)
"We recognize that sometimes the system just doesn't work. …