* Erick Krol at the Center for Illinois Politics…
Newly redrawn Illinois Supreme Court districts mean there’s an open seat in the northern and far western suburbs that’s expected to be fought over next year in a high-dollar battle key to determining which party controls the judicial branch.
Four county judges and a North Shore mayor already say they’re in or considering a run for the new 2nd District job, and more candidates could emerge in the coming months.
The would-be justices will have to win support from voters in Lake, Kane, McHenry, Kendall and DeKalb counties. First up is the primary election in late June 2022, with the Democrat and Republican victors then squaring off in the November general election.
The seat is one of two spots up for grabs on a court where Democrats hold a 4-3 edge, and the campaigns will unfold after both sides shattered Illinois spending records on a judicial contest in fall 2020. Illinois Republicans and their business allies scored a big win when voters rejected retention for then-Justice Tom Kilbride of Rock Island in the 3rd District, who was backed by trial lawyers and labor unions. The district has been tweaked to make it more Democrat-friendly, but for Republicans, the 2022 contests may represent the party’s best shot at regaining a toehold in state government.
“This could end up being one of the most interesting and consequential races on the ballot,” said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “If you’ve got an interest in maintaining some relevance politically, the court might be the way to go.” […]
Just how Democratic the new 2nd District is depends on the election used to measure it. Democrat Joe Biden scored 55.9% to 42.1% for then-President Donald Trump in those five counties last year. In 2018, Democrat Pritzker bested then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by just 2 percentage points. Both Pritzker and Biden took all but McHenry County. In 2014, Rauner bested then-Gov. Pat Quinn by 23 percentage points in those five counties.
Lots more in there, so try to read the whole thing.
* Meanwhile, in Rockford…
Mayor Tom McNamara has decided against running for Congress to succeed U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline.
McNamara was inundated with calls from across the country urging him to run for Bustos’ Congressional seat after she announced that she would not seek a sixth term. But although tempted by the idea he might have a wider impact in Congress, McNamara ultimately decided he can make a bigger difference staying mayor of Rockford.
McNamara announced Monday he will not run for Congress in 2022.
“We have work left to do, and I want to be here, beside you, as we implement more positive change in our community,” McNamara said in a written statement.
Keep an eye on state Sen. Steve Stadelman. Also worth watching is Nikki Budzinski, who is moving back to Illinois from DC after a stint as chief of staff at the Office of Management & Budget. She’s from Peoria and she’s known to be thinking about a congressional bid.
* And in the same current congressional district that may be completely obliterated when the new boundaries are drawn…
With Q2 federal fundraising numbers released nationwide for all campaigns, Republican candidate Esther Joy King stands as the top raising challenger campaign in all of Illinois.
In addition, she is one of only four targeted GOP challenger campaigns nationally that raised more than $400,000. On July 8, her campaign announced it had raised more than $425,000 in the second fundraising quarter that ended June 30.
According to data from Rob Pyers, research director for California Target Book, King was the top raising challenger campaign in the state as of July 16.
* One more…
A conservative U.S. House candidate from northeast Illinois is trumpeting support he’s received on Twitter from an Arizona congressman who’s drawn controversy for ties to white nationalists and comments about the 2020 election and the Capitol riot, among other subjects.
Jack Lombardi, a Manhattan Republican who has billed himself as the “most conservative candidate” running for the 16th District seat now held by Republican Adam Kinzinger, was the subject of a tweet Friday by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar.
“Just had a great chat with @JackLombardi and if you live in Illinois check this man out,” tweeted Gosar, a six-term Republican.
Lombardi retweeted the comment, adding “Thank you for your time. Great things to come!”