Democrats Elizabeth Rochford, Mary Kay O'Brien declare victory in Illinois Supreme Court races

ByJohn Garcia and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Democrats poised to hold, even expand, Illinois Supreme Court majority
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Democrats appear poised to maintain and expand their majority in the Illinois Supreme Court after winning one seat and being on the verge of winning the other.

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Democratic Illinois Supreme Court candidates Elizabeth Rochford and Mary Kay O'Brien have declared victory, expanding the Democratic majority on the court.

The victories give Democrats a 5-2 advantage on the court.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2022 Illinois election results

Democrat Elizabeth Rochford declared victory in the 2nd District, saying her opponent, Republican Mark Curran, called her to concede the race.

In the third district, Mary Kay O'Brien said Republican Mike Burke conceded the race.

O'Brien's campaign said in a Facebook post, "With a broad base of support, Justice Mary Kay O'Brien, has been elected to the Illinois Supreme Court. Justice O'Brien began her campaign over a year ago determined to keep our courts fair and impartial. Last night the voters in the 3rd District placed their trust in Justice O'Brien.

Mary Kay O'Brien will be a Justice for All."

A spokesman for Burke said, "Justice Burke called Justice O'Brien around 10:45 p.m. last night when he conceded and offered both his congratulations and his well wishes for her. Justice Burke told me it was an honor of a lifetime serving on the Illinois Supreme Court."

As voters in Elk Grove Village cast their ballots, many have seen tons of ads for candidates over the last couple months, including the two open seats on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Rhonda Decicco said abortion rights are important to her, and she was expecting to vote for a Supreme Court justice based on that issue.

"I thought it was the most important race besides the governor," she said.

Troy Neal is in the same situation, but because he lives in Cook County he does not get to vote in a Supreme Court race this time around.

"You're expecting to do something, now you get here and you can't do it," he said.

The Illinois Supreme Court is divided into five districts, and only the 2nd and 3rd have contested races this year. Cook County is in the 1st district.

"There's all this attention to a part of our state government we know very little about and I think it's very confusing," said Dr. Suzanne Chod, North Central College.

Issues like abortion rights and gun control likely to come before the court in the next years.