From Illinois Review, reprinted with permission:
THE 2ND SUPREME COURT DISTRICT… THE HOTTEST ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY AROUND?
By Nancy Thorner –
Now that the Governor’s race seems to be tilting strongly for Darren Bailey with the latest poll showing him with a 15-point lead over Richard Irvin and a 21-point lead over his next closest rival, Jesse Sullivan, some might say the Mary Miller vs. Rodney Davis contest for Congress is now the most interesting and the hottest Illinois Republican primary.
The Second District Supreme Court contest, however, may even be more interesting and hotter with all the new developments that have occurred in this race since I last wrote about it on Illinois Review.
The first new development is the return of McHenry County Judge Hutchinson and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to the ballot.
“Objectors used the turnout formula for the new five-county (Supreme Court district) to calculate that 791 signatures were needed to appear on the ballot as a Democrat and 757 to appear as a Republican. But the candidates argued, and Cook County Circuit Judge Maureen Hannon agreed, that since the new district did not exist in 2018, the number of signatures necessary to make it on the ballot should be interpreted as 334 — just as described in the Illinois State Board of Elections 2022 candidate’s guide. The judge’s ruling also aligns with the recommendations of the election board’s hearing officer and general counsel, which were rejected by the (entire election board) on April 19.”
Who was behind the election board overturning their own guidelines, election hearing officer and general counsel in an attempt to keep Curran and Hutchinson from running against Shanes and Noverini? Mark Curran had no doubt: “I know that Judge John Noverini was not behind my challenges…My guess is that Dan Shanes, the other candidate in the race, does not want me talking about how his Masonic friends are clearing out the competition on his behalf, or how there is no way he is pro-life or pro 2nd Amendment.”
Another new event, virtually unprecedented for a judicial race, is the negative attacks by Shanes on Noverini with several mailings and on this website. Shanes’ campaign says Judge Noverini “has Deep Ties to Mike Madigan’s Democratic Political Machine” But Noverini says he has never met Mike Madigan or had any political involvement with Madigan or his political machine. They also claim Noverini “ran and won retention bids as a Democrat in 2014 and 2020” when judicial retention elections are nonpartisan.
“In 2021, Citizens For Noverini gave $5,000 to Progressive Action 2016 whose purpose is to “support progressive candidates in Illinois.” The purchase, Noverini says, was for computer software.
As a member of the Carpentersville City Council, Noverini voted to oppose a budget for all of Carpentersville that would have required a substantial tax increase. Shanes calls that “defunding the police.”
With these baseless charges, Shanes has not followed Illinois judicial rules and is very vulnerable to a formal complaint to the Illinois Judicial Review Board by Judge Noverini.
Now Curran is getting attacked by the same forces backing Shanes: “Griffin Money Attacks Lake County’s Mark Curran after Effort to Knock Him Off the Ballot Fails.”
Some outfit called “Citizens for Judicial Fairness” made this mailing criticizing the 2020 GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. Looking at Illinois State Board of Elections records shows that billionaire Ken Griffin poured $6,250,000 into it on April Fool’s Day. The PAC also paid for radio and television ads for Griffin’s candidate for Secretary of State John Mishiser and his candidate for Attorney General Steve Kim.”
This mailing attacks Curran as Democrat when he was elected Sheriff twice as a Republican in 2010 and 2014 and lost as a Republican in 2018. It attacks his stands on issues that never came up in the primary when he ran with the backing of the Republican Establishment for U.S. Senate in 2020. The same group attacking Curran is just fine with Richard Irvin voting in the Democrat primary 6 out of the last 7 times and Irvin’s far more liberal record on issues. It also supports Shanes’ denials that he is being supported by Ken Griffin are simply untrue.
Yet another new development
Following is perhaps the most interesting new development. Shanes calls himself a “constitutional conservative” yet at a recent meeting of pro-family leaders, Shanes refused to say if life begins at the moment of conception. He also refused to define the word woman when asked!
Maybe this is why David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute and board member of Illinois Family Action, a Republican precinct committeeman and the Crete Township Republican Organization chairman, has endorsed Noverini. Noverini has also gotten the endorsements in McHenry County of former state representative Cal Skinner and Sheriff Bill Prim plus Kane County Pro-Life Leaders Vivian Maley and Sally Sullivan.
The new 2nd Supreme Court District, like the 3rd Supreme Court district, is competitive in the fall for Republicans, especially in a year when Biden’s approval rating is 33% in the latest Quinnipiac poll. If the Republicans win both districts, they will have a majority of the Illinois Supreme Court for the first time since 1964.
An important question: Will it be difficult to get the Curran, Hutchinson and Noverini supporters back on board for the fall if Shanes wins the Republican nomination in the Second District, because of all the scorched earth tactics of the Shanes’ forces?