Primary between two Lake County Republicans vying for Illinois Supreme Court seat remains tight
The Republican primary race for Illinois Supreme Court District 2 has come down to a contest between two prominent Lake County leaders separated by around 1.5% of the vote.
With an estimated 96.1% of votes counted, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran has 31,324 votes to the 29,797 votes garnered by Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes, based on unofficial results.
Neither candidate returned calls for comment on the race Thursday.
Curran wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday morning that he had every expectation that his lead would hold.
Illinois election authorities have up to three weeks to certify election results, so the results may not be official until July 19.
Whichever candidate wins will go on to face Lake County judge Elizabeth "Liz" Rochford, a Waukegan Democrat, in November. The victor will represent the Supreme Court's 2nd District, which after redistricting in 2021 now includes Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties.
The seven justices of the Illinois Supreme Court are chosen initially by popular vote in partisan elections for a 10-year term. After their first term, justices must compete in uncontested, nonpartisan retention elections to remain on the court.
Additional attention likely will be drawn to the election after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
State Sen. Melinda Bush, a Grayslake Democrat, at a news conference last Friday warned the consequences for women could be dire if a Republican candidate won either the 1st or 2nd District elections in the fall, the only two scheduled partisan races.
"If we lose one of them, we can lose control of the Supreme Court here in the state of Illinois, and that means your state rights could be overturned," Bush said. "This is a war and we are not waving the white flag."
When speaking to reporters during the campaign, Curran went on the record as against abortion, and Shanes declined to take a stance.