This post provides a little background on the Circuit Judge election and candidates, plus some more indepth information on Democratic candidate Ramona Sullivan.
WHAT’S THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT? Champaign County is one of six counties in the 6th Judicial Circuit of Illinois, along with DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt. Each county has a separate courthouses and court is held in each county. There are 14 Circuit Judge positions in the Sixth Circuit that are filled by partisan election to a six-year term. (After being elected to the bench, judges run unopposed for retention every six years.) Here’s a diagram of Illinois’s judicial system and more background.
WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT? This year voters in the Sixth Judicial Circuit will have the chance to elect two Circuit Judges, filling the vacancies of retired Judge Arnold Blockman and retired Judge Harry Clem. There are 14 Circuit Judge positions in the Sixth Circuit. Those positions are filled by partisan election, with an election to a six year term. After being elected to the bench, judges run unopposed for retention every six years. Currently, all 14 of the Circuit Judges are members of the Republican Party. Ramona Sullivan is the only female candidate on the ballot this fall, running against Roger Webber for the Blockman vacancy.
RAMONA’S BIO: Ramona has dedicated her career to improving access to justice, working as a legal aid attorney in central Illinois for more than 20 years. She is the mother of 3 children. From the time of her first husband’s death in 2000 until her marriage to her current husband in 2010, Ramona was a single parent raising very young children on a limited legal aid income. Ramona believes that we need Circuit Judges who share some of the experiences of our diverse community beyond the white-male-Republican perspective. See her Facebook site for more information.
MORE FROM RAMONA: This spring, the Champaign County Voters Alliance sent a 4 question survey to candidates in the November election. Take a look at Ramona’s section in the Candidate Guide to get a feeling for the candidate’s qualifications and approach to the office.