In an order entered last Friday, January 18, the Cook County Electoral Board removed Judge Elizabeth A. Karkula from the March 20 primary ballot.
Unless a successful court challenged is filed against this decision, Judge Karkula will not appear on the ballot for the 8th Subcircuit Fabri vacancy.
In its January 18 action, the Board adopted Hearing Officer Christopher J. Argrella’s recommended decision sustaining objections to 1,856 of the 2,687 total signatures filed with Karkula’s nominating petitions, leaving her with 169 signatures less than the 1,000 required.
The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Karkula to the countywide Rooney vacancy in January 2016, but she was passed over by Democratic slatemakers last August, designated as the Democratic Party’s fourth alternate selection. Only three additional vacancies opened up, however.
Five candidates remain in the race for the Fabri vacancy: Former Judge James “Jamie” Shapiro, Stephen J. Feldman, Judge Robin Denise Shofner (who holds the seat pursuant to appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court), John Christopher Benson, and Bonnie C. McGrath (who recently survived a challenge to her nominating petitions). This is the first mention of Benson’s candidacy here and that is a link to Benson’s campaign website in the preceding sentence. A link has been added to blog Sidebar as well.
You think it was tough for you, trying to decide whom to vote for in the March primary’s judicial races?
Two people who had their minds made up were Paul August Karkula and his wife, Elizabeth Anne Haneman Karkula. Their names were on the ballot, marking the first time a husband and wife have run in the same election for Circuit Court judge positions.
“It should be the ultimate goal of every lawyer to want to be a judge,” said Paul, an attorney with Ed Vrdolyak’s firm, currently on “special assignment” with the Town of Cicero. He had made an unsuccessful run for judge in 1988.
“I have wanted to be a judge since I was 8 years old and got inspired by a family friend who was a judge,” said Elizabeth, an attorney in private practice on the North Side.
The couple’s campaign literature caught a lot of people’s attention, playfully playing as it did on Chicago’s unsavory reputation for election day hanky-panky: VOTE TWICE! it shouted.
“It was a way to get noticed,” said Paul. “It was a variation of that old saying, `Vote early and vote often.’ ”
Paul, seeking to fill a vacancy, finished last in a Democratic field of seven with 18,240 votes. Elizabeth finished 11th in a 13-person Democratic field to fill another vacancy. She got 17,216 votes.
“It was a long shot,” said Elizabeth. “But it was a positive experience. All our friends and clients rallied behind us.”
Elizabeth isn’t sure she will run again for office, but her husband says emphatically, “My goal is to be a judge.”