It may be early for 2012 campaign talk.
But with just 290 days to go until primary elections on March 20, 2012, there is only one certain judicial contest in the Metro-East at this point in time.
To keep his seat, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, a Republican who was appointed last year to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of former Judge Michael O'Malley, a Democrat, would be required to run in the primary and then potentially face a challenge in the November general election.
McGlynn had also served as an appellate court justice. He was appointed to the Fifth District Appellate Court in 2005, but lost in the 2006 general election to Bruce Stewart, a Democrat.
A number of area judges' terms expire next year in December.
At the Fifth District, Justice Melissa Chapman is the only one of seven justices up for retention in 2012.
Appellate and supreme court justices serve 10-year terms; circuit judges serve six-year terms.
Chapman, who was appointed to the court in September 2001, then elected in November 2002, is a Democrat. Before going to the bench she practiced law for 18 years as a partner at Morris Chapman & Associates in Granite City.
In 2002, Chapman ran against O'Fallon attorney John Long, a Republican.
At the circuit court level, judges up for retention at the Third Judicial Circuit include Ann Callis, Barbara Crowder, Dave Hylla, John Knight and Charles Romani.
Judges in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit whose terms expire in 2012 are Lloyd Cueto, Jan Fiss and Milton Wharton.
All of those judges have run on the Democratic ticket in the primaries.
Judges running for retention must receive 60 percent of voter approval to earn another term.
In the 2006 election, Cueto resigned his position and ran for election rather than for retention. He was challenged by O'Fallon attorney Paul Evans, a Republican. Cueto won by a margin of 53 to 47 percent.