Asbestos and class action attorneys are contributing in a big way to the campaign of Fifth District Appellate Court candidate Judy Cates of Swansea.

Last month, Cates, a Democrat, received $10,000 from the Simmons law firm of Alton. She also received a $5,000 contribution from Korein Tillery of St. Louis and a separate $1,000 contribution from Korein Tillery attorney Christine Moody.

Cates also received recent donations from UA Local 160 Plumbers & Pipefitters and Threlkeld Investment Fund of $1,000 apiece.

She funded a previous primary campaign in 2008 with more than $800,000 in personal loans or contributions from her law firm in a failed bid for the Democratic nomination to the Fifth District. In that election, James Wexstten of Mount Vernon won the primary battle by a 53-47 percent margin and, unopposed in the general election, went on to win the seat.

This time, Cates is running unopposed in the March 20 primary election, and will face Republican Stephen McGlynn, of Belleville, in the November general election.

Cates is a former president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

McGlynn, who is currently an appointed St. Clair County circuit judge, also is running unopposed in the primary.

To date, McGlynn has self-funded his campaign through loans or donations totaling nearly $20,000, according to records available at the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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