Madison County voters will decide several judicial races in '14; Candidates file nomination papers beginning next month

By Ann Maher | Oct 17, 2013


While next year’s general election may seem on the distant horizon, at least one announced candidate is already gearing up.

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison, who in August announced he would seek the circuit bench vacated by former Judge Ann Callis, has funded his fledgling campaign with an $8,000 loan from he and his wife Carol.

When Harrison’s committee was formed on Aug. 28, he reported $2,802.40 on hand. His committee is chaired by retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Philip Rarick and retired Madison County Circuit Judge Charles Romani. Harrison is running on the Democratic ticket.

Callis left the bench as chief judge in May to make a run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 13th Congressional District.

In her place, Madison County Associate Judge James Hackett, a Republican, was chosen by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the vacancy through Dec. 1, 2014.

If Hackett wants to keep the seat he will have to defeat Harrison, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the Nov. 4, 2014 election.

Hackett has not announced his intentions, nor has a campaign committee in his name been formed.

Candidates running in next year’s general election must file nomination papers beginning next month - between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

Other Madison County jurists up for retention next year are Judges Richard Tognarelli and Dennis Ruth. Neither judge has announced retention plans, nor formed a campaign committee.

What may be of most interest in legal and political circles are the retention interests of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier.

Karmeier, a Republican from Nashville, was elected in 2004 in what was the most expensive state supreme court race in the country at the time. He defeated Democrat Gordon Maag. Justices are elected to 10-year terms. Karmeier has not announced his intentions for the 2014 election cycle.

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