* As I told subscribers earlier this week, White is still quietly mulling his options on whom to endorse for secretary of state. But the state’s most popular officeholder is clearly all-in for Rochford…
Today, Secretary of State Jesse White announced his endorsement of Judge Elizabeth Rochford in her campaign for the Illinois Supreme Court’s new Second District. Serving since 1999, Secretary White is the longest-serving Secretary of State in Illinois history and the first African American in the role. In his endorsement of Judge Rochford, Secretary White cited her judicial experience and dedication to making our court system more equitable.
“I am proud to endorse Judge Elizabeth M. Rochford’s candidacy for Illinois Supreme Court. Judge Rochford has dedicated herself to making the court system fair and accessible to everyone,” said Secretary of State Jesse White. “She is a brilliant judge and — just as important — a wonderful person who is highly decorated for her work promoting diversity and equality. We can trust that her values are our values. A Supreme Court justice needs the superb judicial experience and qualities that Judge Rochford possesses. She is the right candidate for this critical position, and I am proud to wholeheartedly endorse her.”
A first-time candidate for elected office, Judge Rochford has already earned endorsements from multiple labor organizations, including: the Illinois State AFL-CIO; Local 881 UFC; Plumbers Local Union 130 UA; the Lake County Building & Construction Trades Council and its 18 local affiliate trade unions; and the McHenry County Building & Construction Trades Councils and its 26 local affiliate trade unions.
“Secretary of State Jesse White’s legacy of service in Illinois is truly unparalleled, and I am truly humbled to receive his endorsement,” said Judge Elizabeth Rochford. “Secretary White’s leadership has been such an inspiration to me and so many others across our state. I hope to model his commitment to service as I work to bring fairness and equity to our Illinois Supreme Court.”
Judge Rochford’s legal and judicial career has spanned more than 35 years. She has served in private practice, as a former assistant state’s attorney, as a commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims for 23 years, and as an Associate Judge on the 19th Circuit Court for the last nine years after being appointed in 2012. As an Associate Judge, she has heard civil and criminal matters with a significant focus in family law, which is a subject matter close to her heart having served as a longtime community advocate who has chaired literacy and access to justice initiatives. Judge Rochford has also served on the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) Board of Directors since 2015 and is currently its Secretary, helping to combat bias in the courts.
Judge Rochford has served on the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Board of Governors, and as Secretary and past President of the Lake County Bar Association (LCBA). She remains active in both organizations. Her recent distinctions include the 2021 Lake County Democratic Women’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award, 2020 ISBA Carole K. Bellows Woman of Influence Award, the Lake County Women’s Association (LCWA) 2019 Woman of Significance Award, and the LCBA’s 2019 Access to Justice Award.
Judge Rochford’s campaign entered the election year with $215,000 on hand after raising more than $262,000 in 2021. The campaign outraised their nearest opponent by more than $150,000 in 2021 and ended the year with $110,000 more on hand.
The newly redrawn second Supreme Court District encompasses DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. To learn more, visit judgerochfordforsupremecourt.com.
Judge Rochford is up against Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and Kane County Judge René Cruz.