Ann Maher Feb. 24, 2014, 5:10pm
Candidates running for circuit court seats in Madison and St. Clair counties have been rated in an Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) poll of lawyers.
Not surprisingly, results from this year’s poll are consistent with past polls in that Democratic candidates are preferred by the lawyers who voted.
Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison, for instance, was “recommended,” having received a 93.16 rating in the category of “meets requirements of office.”
Harrison, a Democrat, is running for the seat vacated by former judge Ann Callis who resigned last May to run for Congress. In November, Harrison will face St. Jacob attorney John Barberis, Jr., a Republican.
Barberis was “not recommended” in the poll, having received a 23.60 rating in “meets requirements of office” category.
The poll is conducted by the ISBA, which mails ballots to ISBA members in the circuit or district from which a candidate seeks election.
In the Third Judicial Circuit, which includes Madison and Bond counties, a total of 559 ballots were mailed. A total of 211 ballots were cast.
Licensed attorneys who are not members of ISBA may request a ballot. Attorneys are asked to respond only if they have sufficient knowledge about a candidate’s qualifications for judicial office to give a fair, informed opinion. Candidates are rated recommended or not recommended based on whether respondents agree that the candidate meets acceptable requirements for the office. Candidates receiving 65 percent or more “yes” responses to that question are rated recommended and candidates receiving less than 65 percent are rated not recommended.
In the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf, a Democrat, was rated higher than Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, a Republican, in the "meets requirements" category. Rudolf received a rating of 95.85 to McGlynn’s 75.49.
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed McGlynn to serve on the Fifth District Appellate Court and twice appointed him to serve on the St. Clair County bench. He is currently serving out the term of disgraced former jurist Michael Cook who pleaded guilty to heroin possession and weapons charges last year.
Rudolf has served as an associate judge for nearly eight years. Prior to taking the bench, Rudolf practiced law for five years with Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson in Belleville.
A total of 681 ballots were mailed to lawyers in the Twentieth, which includes Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. There were 321 ballots cast.
The poll also rates candidates on integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity to diversity and bias.
Here’s how they were rated in those categories:
Harrison – 97.35
Barberis – 61.11
Rudolf – 96.24
McGlynn – 89.19
Harrison – 92.59
Barberis - 50
Rudolf – 95.85
McGlynn – 79.07
Harrison – 94.74
Barberis – 23.33
Rudolf – 97.37
McGlynn – 79.69
Harrison – 95.74
Barberis – 65.17
Rudolf – 97.74
McGlynn – 89.92
Harrison – 96.32
Barberis – 34.48
Rudolf – 97.37
McGlynn – 89.45
Harrison – 98.41
Barberis – 91.11
Rudolf – 99.25
McGlynn – 96.47
Sensitivity to diversity and bias:
Harrison – 96.83
Barberis – 69.32
Rudolf – 98.12
McGlynn – 87.84