McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Gordon Graham has informed court officials that he is retiring on September 7th.
In 2010, Graham ran for and won the office.
He won the GOP primary election without opposition.
Then, up popped Sally Wiggins, running as an Independent.
Graham won the fall election.
His six-year term is up this year.
The first time around, circuit court judges are elected for six years.
When that first term is up, the Illinois State Constitution says they can run for retention.
There is no opponent on the ballot.
They are in essence putting themselves up for voter approval.
To remain on the bench, a judge must get 60% of the vote cast.
It is quite difficult to unseat a judge.
When I was teaching state and local government at Rockford College, I noticed “Dump Babb” signs in Boone County.
That would have been in the early 1980’s after my first eight years in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Running on the Republican Party ticket, Babb had been elected a Circuit Court Judge in Boone County, which was in my five-county district back in the 1970’s.
But he had the temerity to run as a Democrat for Appellate Court Judge.
He lost that race.
When his six-year term was up, Babb ran for retention.
The local Republican Party was not happy with Babb’s candidacy as a Democrat.
Hence, the “Dump Babb” yard signs.
To the point.
Babb lost the election for retention.
With Graham having approved the Special Prosecutor who indicted McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi not once, but twice, plus Ron Salgado, the father of current McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Sandra Salado, you can bet that some thought has been given to unseating the Judge.
Remember that Bianchi has over $100,000 in his campaign fund.
Judge Graham decided to retire, rather than be on the ballot again.