JP Election Brief: The Rainbow Connection
by: the State Court Staff
- March 24: Election in Louisiana
- March 27: Filing deadline in Missouri
Alabama Chief Justice race
Since March 13, when Roy Moore became the Republican nominee for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, some within his own party are publicly questioning the November match-up chosen by voters. Right now Moore is set to compete against Harry Lyon, a Democrat who is best known for his ten previous campaigns for various offices throughout the state. Or, more likely, this comment made in 2006 about illegal immigration, "It would only take 5 or 10 [illegal immigrants] getting killed and broadcast on CNN for it to send a clear message to not set foot in Alabama." Lyon does contend that he was joking about that, however.
The political establishment in the state seems concerned about the image Alabama is projecting to the rest of nation. According to The Birmingham News, a group of people are said to be considering options for a strong, experienced candidate to run as an independent for Chief Justice in 2012.
In newspapers across the state, Moore is seen as the projected winner. In a state with a largely conservative population, Republicans have an advantage in statewide races. In fact, Harry Lyon is the only Democratic candidate who filed for any of the eleven appellate races in the state this year.
Roy Moore finds the talk of an independent candidate entering the race unsurprising. He said, "Of course I understand why some special interests want to find an independent. It's because they know they don't control me." He went on to define the group seeking an independent candidate as the "big business wing of the Republican Party..."
In the News
Illinois primary results
This week's primary election in Illinois helped solidify Justice Mary Jane Theis' standing as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court. Though challenged by three opponents, Theis emerged with 48% of the vote in the Democratic primary, winning her party's nomination. She will compete against Republican James G. Riley in the general election.
- For the Cahill vacancy, Mathias W. Delort won the six-way Democratic primary with 25% of the vote.
- For the Gallagher vacancy, P. Scott Neville won a three-way Democratic primary with 44% of the vote.
- For the O'Brien vacancy, Jesse G. Reyes won a five-way Democratic primary with 33% of the vote.
Check back to Judgepedia's Illinois judicial elections, 2012 page to learn about candidates for the general election.
Candidate filings in New Mexico
There will be twelve District Court seats on the ballot in New Mexico this year. Below is a breakdown by district:
- New Mexico Second Judicial District Court: 3 seats, all contested in the general election. A Republican primary race will take place for Division 21.
- New Mexico Third Judicial District Court: 3 seats, all contested in the general election.
- New Mexico Fifth Judicial District Court: 1 seat, with a Republican primary race for Division 9.
- New Mexico Sixth Judicial District Court: 1 seat, with a Republican and Democratic race for Division 2.
- New Mexico Eighth Judicial District Court: 2 seats, both with Democratic primary races.
- New Mexico Ninth Judicial District Court: 1 seat, with Donna Mowrer running unopposed for re-election.
- New Mexico Thirteenth Judicial District Court: 1 seat, with only one Democratic candidate running.
All filing information comes from New Mexico Secretary of State, Candidate Filings at the Secretary of State's Office - District Judge (dead link)
Voter ID law developments
While the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed a strict voter ID law this week, Minnesota Republicans are also trying to get one on the ballot in their state.Opponents of the amendment say they will fight to keep it off the November ballot even if it passes the legislature. The past two weeks have been marked by successful challenges to voter ID laws in both Texas and Wisconsin; a voter ID law was also struck down in South Carolina in December 2011.
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- AL.com, "Most controversial candidate in Alabama chief justice race? It may not be Roy Moore," March 16, 2012
- The Birmingham News, "Alabama political insiders consider an 'anybody but Roy Moore or Harry Lyon' candidate," March 19, 2012
- The Birmingham News, "Roy Moore not concerned about independent candidate in Alabama chief justice race," March 21, 2012
- IllinoisJudges.net, 2012 Illinois Judicial Election results
- CBSNews.com, "Strict voter ID law passes in battleground Pennsylvania," March 15, 2012
- The Star Tribune, "Court fight inevitable for voter ID," March 17, 2012
- The Grand Forks Herald, "Voter ID requirement in Minnesota faces inevitable court battle," March 18, 2012 (dead link)
- ABC News, "Voter ID Laws Struck Down in Texas, Wisconsin," March 12, 2012