Carlson among candidates eyeing 2014 circuit judgeships
BY CINDY WOJDYLA CAIN email@example.com October 7, 2013 10:37PM
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:08AM
JOLIET — Dave Carlson lost his race for state’s attorney in 2012, but he is not letting that stop him from seeking another elected office next year.
Carlson, 42, who was appointed in August as a Will County associate judge, is one of several local attorneys expected to run in 2014 for two subcircuit judge openings.
While he lost his race for state’s attorney, it appears the race elevated Carlson’s political profile in Will County, and it may have helped him beat out 48 other applicants for one of two associate judge appointments that opened up this year. Joliet attorney David Garcia was appointed to the other position.
Carlson is the only Republican who has announced he will for a circuit judge opening in subcircuit 1, which includes the Plainfield area where Carlson lives.
“I can take what I learned as a lawyer and a candidate for state’s attorney to be a full circuit judge,” he said. “Full circuit judge really is the pinnacle of the trial courts. And that’s what I did as a lawyer, mostly trial work.”
Democrats who are interested in running for the Joliet-based subcircuit 2 are Assistant Public Defender Stewart Ferreira, attorney Dan Kennedy, attorney Jim Murphy and Assistant State’s Attorney Tina Filipiak, and attorney Dawn Underhill, according to Will County Democratic Party Chairman Scott Pyles.
Garcia also may enter the race, Pyles said.
No Democrat has announced interest in subcircuit 1 yet, but Pyles hopes to fill that ballot slot, too.
Ed Ronkowski, chairman of the Will County Republican Party, said so far only one Republican has expressed interested in running in subcircuit 2, and that is Associate Judge Dinah Archambeault.
The two subcircuit positions are opening because circuit judges Gerald Kinney and Richard Siegel are retiring.
Carlson said he’s excited about running for circuit judge because the race will be smaller than the countywide one he waged against incumbent State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow last year, which Glasgow won 58 percent to 42 percent. Will County has five subcircuits, which allows judges to be elected from smaller geographical areas.
“It’s grassroots politics,” Carlson said. “You go door to door and tell people who you are and ask for support.”
Also, running for judge is less political than running for state’s attorney, Carlson said. Judicial candidates can’t be involved in fundraising, for instance.
“When you put the black robe on, there’s no red or blue, and that’s the way it should be,” Carlson said.
Nominating petitions for judicial and other races are available and must be filed from Nov. 23 through Dec. 2 for the March 18 primary. Judicial nominating petitions are handled by the Illinois State Board of Elections rather than the county clerk’s office.
Once circuit judges are elected, they are back on the election ballot every six years for retention votes, Courts Administrator Kurt Sangmeister said. Appellate court judges also face a retention vote every four years from the circuit judges.