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JP Election Brief: The Rainbow Connection

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Portal:Judicial elections

March 22, 2012

by: the State Court Staff

Every Thursday, Judgepedia's State Court Staff examines events in the world of judicial elections across the nation. Make sure to use Judgepedia's Election Central the rest of the week as a hub for all your judicial election needs.
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Important dates

Upcoming election

Filing deadline

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."[1] 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.[2]

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."[3] He went on to define the group seeking an independent candidate as the "big business wing of the Republican Party..."[3]

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Check out Judgepedia's Election Central for details!

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.

On the Illinois Appellate Court, there were three races in the First District. Below are the results:

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.[4]

Check back to Judgepedia's Illinois judicial elections, 2012 page to learn about candidates for the general election.

Candidate filings in New Mexico

New Mexico

Tuesday, March 20, was the filing deadline for the primary election in New Mexico. The primary will occur on June 5, 2012, along with primaries in California, Mississippi and Montana.

There will be twelve District Court seats on the ballot in New Mexico this year. Below is a breakdown by district:

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,[5] Minnesota Republicans are also trying to get one on the ballot in their state.[6][7]Opponents of the amendment say they will fight to keep it off the November ballot even if it passes the legislature.[7] 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.[8]

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