Fifth District candidates raise a little - in a race that has cost millions

By Ann Maher | Jan 5, 2012



While recent contests for the Fifth District Appellate Court have cost between $2-3 million, the candidates running this time have raised a mere $36,000 as of Dec. 31.

But, it's early and neither one of them have primary opponents.

Republican Stephen McGlynn, who is currently serving as an appointed circuit judge in St. Clair County, is responsible for all of the contributions made to his campaign committee. In four separate contributions made in December, he gave a total of $18,500.

His Democratic opponent Judy Cates, a personal injury attorney from Swansea, received a total of $17,550 from six contributors through Dec. 31.

Her three largest contributors – Carey & Danis of Belleville and local attorneys Steven Katz and David Cates - donated $5,000 apiece. David Cates is Judy Cates' son.

Cates also received $1,000 donations from Belleville attorney Christopher Cueto and St. Louis physician Dr. Aaron Greenspan. Grace Allen-Newton of Chicago contributed $250.

According to a quarterly report filed by Cates, her campaign committee also received in-kind campaign contributions totaling $13,184.

The asbestos firm Gori & Julian of Edwardsville contributed $6,000 toward media consulting.

Cates Law contributed $6,184 for media production and campaign expenses.

Threlkeld Investment Fund contributed $1,000 toward campaign office rent.

Since Cates' quarterly report was filed, her committee received a $1,000 contribution from attorney Christine Moody of KoreinTillery in St. Louis.

McGlynn and Cates are seeking their parties' nominations in the March 20 primary election.

McGlynn previously served as appellate court justice, having been appointed in July 2005 to fill a vacancy created when former justice Gordon Maag lost a retention vote in November 2004. Maag also lost the race for Illinois Supreme Court to Lloyd Karmeier in that election.

McGlynn actually succeeded Judge Clyde Kuehn, who was appointed to Maag's vacancy on a temporary basis in December 2005.

In the appellate court election of 2006, McGlynn lost an expensive race to Democrat Bruce Stewart, a former Saline County circuit judge. Close to $3 million was spent by both candidates in that race.

Stewart's support was strong in counties outside the Metro-East, in a district that includes the state's 37 southernmost counties.

Cates also has had a previous run for the appellate court.

In spite of outspending her opponent James Wexstten almost two to one, she lost a 2008 primary race by a margin of 53-47. Wexstten, of Mount Vernon, had received the endorsement of the St. Clair County Democratic organization.

Cates, a former president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, funded her primary campaign, in large part, with more than $800,000 in personal loans or contributions from her law firm.

Wexstten, who ran unopposed in the general election, raised approximately $500,000 in the primary.

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Illinois Supreme Court Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

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