With St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn almost certain to vie for the open seat at the Fifth District, the path to his circuit seat will be clear for Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson. McGlynn, a Republican, was appointed circuit judge last year when Judge Michael O'Malley changed careers to become a product liability lawyer.
Gleeson, a Democrat, has earned a spot on the ballot by doing most of the L Division heavy lifting – he presides over asbestos, class actions, lawyer battles and most recently inherited a salacious civil suit against Tom Lakin. If McGlynn should change his mind and run for circuit instead of appellate court, don't expect Gleeson to run against McGlynn – it's an Irish family ties thing.
Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto's seat will also be up for grabs. Expect St. Clair County Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot to be slated by the county Democratic Party.
There is some surprise to Judge Milton Wharton's retirement announcement. Dicta sources say that unless he was given assurances that the party would slate an African American to his open seat, he would stay and run for retention. Wharton is an outspoken civil rights champion. "Each day I come to work at the courthouse I am reminded that 100 years ago a black man, accused of a non-fatal attack on a white man, was forcibly taken from this locality by a mob, which included prominent citizens, and lynched," he told the Record in 2006.
"I am equally mindful of the progress which has occurred since that fateful day, assisted to no small degree by the justice system. I take most seriously my duties and responsibilities as a judge."
St. Clair County Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf, Dicta hears, will be slated by the Democratic Party to Wharton's seat.
A million, easily
Despite12th Congressional candidate Roger Cook's protest that he was urged to move over for party-backed candidate Jason Plummer, at least one insider at the recent meeting thought the discussion, while frank, ended well. Cook wasn't asked to leave the race, but was given a dose of reality on resources and strategy, critical campaign pieces he lacks.
Former Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Kathleen P. Moran, 61, died at her home in Trenton on Oct. 31.
Moran, who retired last year after 16 years on the bench, was remembered as one "fast to make friends, quick to find a laugh and always ready to give love."
She was the daughter of the late Appellate Court Justice George Moran, Sr. and sister to former Madison County Circuit Judge George Moran, Jr.
She began her legal career in 1976 as a clerk to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joseph Goldenhersh. She then started a private legal practice in 1977 with her husband, James Patrick Callahan, in Trenton.
Moran was a member of the Board of Directors for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation in East St. Louis.
She is survived by her husband and three children, Andrew Callahan and wife Annie of St. Louis, Elizabeth Callahan and fiance Benjamin Burch of Breese, and Rebecca Callahan and husband Russell Muren of Boulder, Colo.