Illinois saw 22 candidates contribute more than $75,000 each, of their own money, to their campaigns during the primaries. Nearly half of those were judges.   David Morrison of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says judicial candidates who have the money to pay for their own campaigns appear less tied to their donors.


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“I think voters are perhaps a little wary of candidates who want to serve on the bench but get a whole lot of money from interests who might then appear before that judge,” Morrison says.   Some reformers say the public usually doesn’t know the judicial candidates on the ballot and appointing judges rather than electing them would bolster faith in the courts. But Morrison says voters won’t let that happen.   “As a practical matter, voters have made clear they do not want to give up their right to vote for judges,” Morrison says.





Candidate Name Cmte ID# Office/Party Self-funded amount*

Morrison, Sean M22433Cook County Bd of Review/GOP$325,000.00

Harris, Napoleon24033State Senator, 15th/Dem$227,000.00

O’Shea, Patrick4552Judge, 18th Circuit/GOP$218,802.59

Shapiro, James20755Judge, Cook Subcircuit/Dem$191,000.00

Ven Pelt-Watkins, Patricia23877State Senator, 5th/Dem$174,000.00

Kaplan, James L23680Judge, Cook Subcircuit/Dem$170,000.00

Peck, Garrett23678State Senator, 49th/GOP$130,594.57

Swiss, Tom23910State Representative, 10th/Dem$105,654.89

Hartwell, Tom23847Circuit Clerk, Kane/GOP$102,628.00

Syverson, Dave8081State Senator, 35th/GOP$101,150.00

Johnson, Christine10501State Senator, 35th/GOP$100,001.00

Liu, Laura23192Judge, Cook Subcircuit/Dem$100,000.00

McSweeney, David23854State Representative, 52nd/GOP$97,795.53

Renshaw, Kent24052Judge, 2nd Circuit/Dem$93,175.62

Keeley, Anne24096Judge, 20th Circuit/Dem$89,000.00

Drury, Scott23682State Representative, 58th/Dem$88,500.00

Gorman, Kate22235Judge, 10th Circuit/GOP$87,861.22

Winter, Bryan23714State’s Attorney, Lake/GOP$86,400.00

Gamrath, Celia Louise23660Judge, Cook Subcircuit/Dem$86,046.71

Cultra, Shane16451State Senator, 53rd/GOP$85,000.00

Romanek, Abbey Fishman19109Judge, Cook Subcircuit/Dem$83,000.00

Shanes, Daniel23594Judge, 19th Circuit/GOP$75,000.00