Cook County Circuit Judge Lorna E. Propes announced her candidacy for Cook County’s top judicial spot today.
Propes launched her campaign via an email to circuit judges that was linked to a two-minute YouTube video outlining her priorities.
“I’m reaching out to you today so that when we meet in person we can talk about the issues facing the judiciary and your vision for the future of court,” Propes said in the video.
The Cook County chief judge’s term runs for three years with elections held around mid-September.
Chief Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans has held the position since September 2001, the longest tenure of any chief in Cook County since the court was unified in the 1960s.
He faced challengers during the 2010 and 2016 votes.
Evans released a statement to the Daily Law Bulletin this afternoon indicating he plans to declare his candidacy for a seventh term “in the days ahead.”
The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Propes to the bench in September 2010. She was elected by Cook County voters to a full six-year term in 2012 and was retained in November for another term.
Propes has been assigned to the Law Division since February 2013, where she oversees jury trials.
She began her legal career as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney. Propes worked for 30 years as a trial lawyer.
Before attending law school she worked as a high school teacher and guidance counselor.
Evans won election to his sixth term in September 2016, securing 129 of 234 votes in a closed-door meeting of circuit judges at the Daley Center to beat former circuit judge Thomas R. Allen, who received 103 votes.
In 2010, Evans faced a challenge by then-Law Division Circuit Judge William D. Maddux for the seat, winning the contest with a 174-82 vote.
“In this upcoming election for [c]hief [j]udge, I welcome the challenge as I respect any judge’s right to run,” Evans wrote in his statement to the Law Bulletin. “But when it comes to improving our justice system, nobody has more passion or a stronger record of action. I will continue to support innovation, address issues that arise and listen to all sides before making decisions.”
His announcement also included a nine-point summary of accomplishments since the 2016 vote and a link to his official court biography.