SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will go before voters in the 3rd Judicial District this November seeking another decade on the state’s top court.
Kilbride filed a Declaration of Judicial Candidacy Friday afternoon with the Illinois Secretary of State Office, the first step toward appearing on November’s ballot.
“After considerable reflection, I have filed to seek retention and with great humility ask the people of the Third District to place their trust in me to represent them on the Illinois Supreme Court,” Kilbride said in a statement, provided by a court spokesman. “It has been the honor of my life to serve them and enjoy their confidence that I will always be a fair and even-handed judge.”
The Illinois Constitution outlines in Article 6, Section 12(d) how an elected state judge must submit “a declaration of candidacy to succeed himself” as his current term approaches its end. The filing must come “not less than six months before the general election preceding the expiration of his term of office.”
By those rules, Kilbride had until Sunday to file.
The same rules also call for Secretary of State Jesse White to certify Kilbride’s candidacy to the State Board of Elections “not less than 63 days before the election.”
To stay on the bench, Kilbride will need “yes” votes on the retention question from at least three-fifths of voters. If he’s retained, the next 10-year term starts Dec. 7.
An attorney from Rock Island, Kilbride was first elected to the 3rd District seat on the high court as a Democrat in 2000. In 2010, he succeeded Justice Thomas Fitzgerald as chief justice, and won retention that same year.
The 3rd Judicial District contains 21 counties in north-central Illinois, including Will County in the Chicago area, Illinois’ half of the Quad Cities, Peoria, Ottawa and Galesburg. In the 2010 Census, it had about 1.8 million residents, accounting for 14% of the state’s population.