Attorney Katherine Ruocco of Swansea has won the Republican nomination for a circuit wide vacancy at the Twentieth Judicial Circuit over Marissa attorney Marshall Hilmes by a margin of 61 to 39 percent.
Vote totals in St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph, Perry and Washington counties indicate that Ruocco received 10,652 votes to Hilmes' 6,970, a difference of 3,682.
Ruocco expressed "heartfelt thanks" to her supporters.
"Together, we ran a community-based campaign resting on an honest message of our circuit court's need for reform and independence," she said in a statement. "We couldn't have won without community effort, and I'm so grateful and humbled by the support of so many."
She thanked Hilmes for his "strong showing of commitment to working for a more fair and independent judiciary."
"There is still much more work to be done," Ruocco said. "This victory gets us one step closer to our ultimate goal of making our Courts more fair and just. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the community as we continue our effort."
Hilmes made a statement on Facebook:
"Although we did not win this time around, I’ll be asking for your support again in the future. You have all been a blessing to myself and my family. We have met so many great people, have learned a lot and appreciate everyone’s support. You’ve all done so much and I am in awe and humbled by your response to this evening's results."
Ruocco and Hilmes were vying for the vacancy of Circuit Judge Jan Fiss, who is retiring at the end of his term in December.
Democrat Heinz Rudolf, an associate judge in St. Clair County, was unopposed in his party's primary. He received 21,643 votes.
Ruocco and Rudolf will face off in the November general election.
Breakdown of votes by county: