Third Circuit judges will have to choose a new associate judge pending the outcome of the race between Madison County Associate Judges Barbara Crowder and James Hackett.

Crowder and Hackett are vying for a seat on the circuit bench left vacant by Judge George Moran, Jr.

The last associate judge appointed by the Third Circuit judges was Steve Stobbs. His position was created by the Illinois Supreme Court which authorized an additional 26 associate judgeships statewide due to population gains.

Applicants for that position included Martin Mengarelli, Dennis Orsey, Edwin Potter, Maureen Schuette, Paul Welch, Mary M. Albert-Fritz, Scott Cain, Amy Chapman, John Haynes, Eric Jackstadt, Robert Larson, Amy Maher and Larry Calvo.

If no candidate receives the majority of at least five votes in a first round of voting, a second balloting takes place for the top contenders.

Prior to Stobbs, the last time an associate judge position became available in the Third Circuit happened upon the retirement of Judge Lola Maddox on Nov. 30, 2004. At that time, 14 area attorneys took out applications:

Stephen Stobbs, David Hylla, Duane Bailey, Donald Flack, Allen Gilliard Jr., John Haynes, Janet Rae Heflin, Keith Jensen, Susan Jensen, Robert Larson, Martin Mengarelli, Dennis Orsey, John Rekowski and Greg Roosevelt.

Heflin, an Edwardsville family law attorney, received at least five votes on a first ballot to earn the associate judge title.

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