Democrat Judy Cates has won the race for the Fifth District Appellate Court.
The Swansea trial attorney received 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election against her Republican opponent, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, according to final election results from the Associated Press.
Barzin Emami, Cates’ campaign manager, on Wednesday morning confirmed those results: Cates received 281,228 votes while McGlynn received 259,662 votes in the 37 counties that comprise the Fifth District.
Cates was not immediately available for comment and McGlynn’s campaign manager, Matthew Pickett, did not immediately return a message Wednesday morning.
Cates will fill the vacancy on the Fifth District that Justice James Donovan will create later this year, when he retires after a decade behind the appeals bench.
The race for the seat was hard-fought, as both candidates were deemed “highly qualified” by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), raised several thousand dollars in campaign donations last month alone and lodged complaints against each other.
Cates, a past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association, filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections over campaign disclosure that was eventually dismissed.
And McGlynn filed at least three complaints with the ISBA Standing Committee on Supreme/Appellate Election Campaign Tone and Conduct.
His complaints focused on a television and radio advertisement and alleged ethical and judicial advertising violations. The ISBA committee recommended that Cates pull her television commercial , but she stood behind it.
Both candidates sought election to the Fifth District in the past and lost. Cates ran in 2008 and lost to James Wexstten in the primary election.
McGlynn, who served a short stint on the appellate court in 2004, lost his bid to Bruce Stewart in the 2006 general election. He was appointed to the circuit bench in 2010.
The rather contentious race also garnered quite a bit of money.
Records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show that Cates’ campaign committee reported about $393,100 in receipts, which include itemized and non-itemized contributions and transfers, between July 1 and Oct. 31.
McGlynn’s campaign committee reported slightly more than $141,500 in receipts and those figures are just for the final months of the campaign.
Some of Cates’ largest contributions came from local and out-of-state asbestos attorneys and law firms, as well as the Southern Illinois Victory Fund.
McGlynn’s largest contributions came from the political action committees of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Civil Justice League and Illinois State Medical Society.