Christina Stueve Hodges Nov. 6, 2012, 11:34pm

In spite of an effort to oust sitting judges, voters in Madison County on Tuesday retained Third Judicial Circuit Judges Ann Callis, David Hylla, Barbara Crowder and John Knight to additional six year terms.

A spokesman for Citizens for Judicial Integrity - the group responsible for trying to unseat the judges - reacted to the outcome by thanking voters for listening.

“We provided information to voters, making them more aware of the importance judges play in our every day lives and the impact judges have on our economic climate and the health care system," said Phil Chapman.

“Like most Americans, we believe political contributions and judges’ political affiliation influences their decisions," he said.

"We believe the public is more aware of the impact of the asbestos bar’s huge contributions have upon the lawsuit explosion in Madison County and the negative impact the court climate has on business and healthcare. The judges enjoyed hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct their campaigns and their pick of political and citizens groups to speak to.”

The Citizens for Judicial Integrity conducted its campaign on less than $5,000, Chapman said.

He said that without the press’s dedication in providing two sides of the story, Citizens for Judicial Integrity’s efforts would have been impossible.

“We feel our campaign did impact the election," he said. "Previously, the judges received 70 percent of the vote. During this election cycle, they received less.”

“The people have spoken. They voted, and they made their decision.”

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