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HomeIllinois PoliticsThorner: The 2nd Supreme Court District... the hottest Illinois Republican Primary around?

Thorner: The 2nd Supreme Court District… the hottest Illinois Republican Primary around?




By Nancy Thorner - 

Now that the Governor’s race seems to be tilting strongly for Darren Bailey with the latest poll showing him with a 15-point lead over Richard Irvin and a 21-point lead over his next closest rival, Jesse Sullivan, some might say the Mary Miller vs. Rodney Davis contest for Congress is now the most interesting and the hottest Illinois Republican primary.  

The Second District Supreme Court contest, however, may even be more interesting and hotter with all the new developments that have occurred in this race since I last wrote about it on Illinois Review.

The first new development is the return of McHenry County Judge Hutchinson and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to the ballot.

“Objectors used the turnout formula for the new five-county (Supreme Court district) to calculate that 791 signatures were needed to appear on the ballot as a Democrat and 757 to appear as a Republican.  But the candidates argued, and Cook County Circuit Judge Maureen Hannon agreed, that since the new district did not exist in 2018, the number of signatures necessary to make it on the ballot should be interpreted as 334 — just as described in the Illinois State Board of Elections 2022 candidate's guide.  The judge's ruling also aligns with the recommendations of the election board's hearing officer and general counsel, which were rejected by the (entire election board) on April 19.”    

Who was behind the election board overturning their own guidelines, election hearing officer and general counsel in an attempt to keep Curran and Hutchinson from running against Shanes and Noverini?  Mark Curran had no doubt:  "I know that Judge John Noverini was not behind my challenges…My guess is that Dan Shanes, the other candidate in the race, does not want me talking about how his Masonic friends are clearing out the competition on his behalf, or how there is no way he is pro-life or pro 2nd Amendment."    

Second development

Another new event, virtually unprecedented for a judicial race, is the negative attacks by Shanes on Noverini with several mailings and on this website. Shanes’ campaign says Judge Noverini “has Deep Ties to Mike Madigan’s Democratic Political Machine” But Noverini says he has never met Mike Madigan or had any political involvement with Madigan or his political machine.  They also claim Noverini “ran and won retention bids as a Democrat in 2014 and 2020” when judicial retention elections are nonpartisan.   

Screen Shot 2022-06-13 at 1.11.36 PM

“In 2021, Citizens For Noverini gave $5,000 to Progressive Action 2016 whose purpose is to “support progressive candidates in Illinois.” The purchase, Noverini says, was for computer software.

As a member of the Carpentersville City Council, Noverini voted to oppose a budget for all of Carpentersville that would have required a substantial tax increase. Shanes calls that “defunding the police."  

With these baseless charges, Shanes has not followed Illinois judicial rules and is very vulnerable to a formal complaint to the Illinois Judicial Review Board by Judge Noverini.

Now Curran is getting attacked by the same forces backing Shanes:  “Griffin Money Attacks Lake County’s Mark Curran after Effort to Knock Him Off the Ballot Fails."  

Some outfit called “Citizens for Judicial Fairness” made this mailing criticizing the 2020 GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.  Looking at Illinois State Board of Elections records shows that billionaire Ken Griffin poured $6,250,000 into it on April Fool’s Day. The PAC also paid for radio and television ads for Griffin’s candidate for Secretary of State John Mishiser and his candidate for Attorney General Steve Kim.”

This mailing attacks Curran as Democrat when he was elected Sheriff twice as a Republican in 2010 and 2014 and lost as a Republican in 2018.  It attacks his stands on issues that never came up in the primary when he ran with the backing of the Republican Establishment for U.S. Senate in 2020.   The same group attacking Curran is just fine with Richard Irvin voting in the Democrat primary 6 out of the last 7 times and Irvin’s far more liberal record on issues.  It also supports Shanes’ denials that he is being supported by Ken Griffin are simply untrue.   

Yet another new development

Following is perhaps the most interesting new development.  Shanes calls himself a “constitutional conservative” yet at a recent meeting of pro-family leaders, Shanes refused to say if life begins at the moment of conception. He also refused to define the word woman when asked! 

Maybe this is why David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute and board member of Illinois Family Action, a Republican precinct committeeman and the Crete Township Republican Organization chairman, has endorsed Noverini.  Noverini has also gotten the endorsements in McHenry County of former state representative Cal Skinner and Sheriff Bill Prim plus Kane County Pro-Life Leaders Vivian Maley and Sally Sullivan.  

The new 2nd Supreme Court District, like the 3rd Supreme Court district, is competitive in the fall for Republicans, especially in a year when Biden’s approval rating is 33% in the latest Quinnipiac poll.  If the Republicans win both districts, they will have a majority of the Illinois Supreme Court for the first time since 1964. 

An important question:  Will it be difficult to get the Curran, Hutchinson and Noverini supporters back on board for the fall if Shanes wins the Republican nomination in the Second District, because of all the scorched earth tactics of the Shanes’ forces?


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  1. Nancy, I was intrigued by your post, but I do think you’re missing some REALLY big points here.
    Let me be clear, I hate mudslinging, but I don’t think people should be afraid of learning about who they’re voting for. If attacks are baseless, that’s one thing, but when attacks are based on facts… I don’t think we should melt like snowflakes because someone is being direct. You know why America loves Trump? He’s not afraid of the TRUTH!
    After reading everything, I want to vote for Shanes MORE. Here are my big takeaways:
    1) Noverini – Uh, the guy was an ELECTED Democrat. Why are we not addressing that here? You pointed out the line about him running for retention being wrong, but you didn’t point out that he originally ran as a
    DEMOCRAT for that seat. I read the article cited in that site you posted. He was bashing the Republican Party! And now he wants to run as a Republican again because he knows it’s the winning party? Yeah, I prefer my candidates to actually be true conservatives, not opportunist. I googled his race in 2008 and found this. notice the party next to his name: https://www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections/Election%20Documents/2008-11-04/Contests.aspx
    Are we just going to ignore this and be ok with a Democrat running in our party now? Shame on David Smith for his endorsement
    Also, the paperwork provided on that website shows that Noverini filed to run as a
    DEMORCRAT for this very seat, before he switched to Republican. chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://therealnoverini.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NoveriniReport.pdf
    So, yeah, I’m out on this guy. I don’t care how many times he says he’s a Republican now. Actions speak louder than words. Noverini is a
    Curran has no one to blame but himself. It always irked me when he switched parties after being a lifelong Democrat as well. Again, I hate mudslinging, but all of the stuff I’ve seen on him is TRUE and he actually said it.
    Curran got clobbered when he ran for Senate in 2020 and he’d get clobbered in this election too. He’s from Lake County and got totally walloped in 2020. Total loser.
    Nancy, I normally really like a lot of your stuff, but I think I’m going to have to start reading this a lot more closely and checking all the facts. I’m worried after reading this… Let’s elect

  2. I’ve been told it is official as of last Friday. Noverini has filed a complaint against Shanes with the Judicial Review Board. Shanes will have a lot of explaining to do even if he wins the primary

  3. “The…sub-circuit..corresponding to Judge Noverini was gerrymandered to make it impossible for a Republican to win. Judge Noverini was told by the Kane County Republicans that he was too conservative and that they were putting up a pro-choice Republican for the newly opened Circuit Court spot…Judge Noverini’s Republican base not only suggested that he run as a Democrat but also stuck by him. He was never a Democrat. He ran as a Democrat. He has always been a conservative. The Kane County Chair of the Democrats was pro-life, unlike today when Democrats who are conservative on any issue are few and far between. His conservative judicial record is why in the 2014 and 2020 nonpartisan retention elections Judge Noverini was overwhelmingly retained by the voters.”
    That was a quote from Nancy’s original article. “None so blind as will not see” is true in politics above all. More on the Shanes mudslinging and false charges: https://mchenrycountyblog.com/2022/06/13/judge-daniel-shanes-campaign-called-out/

  4. A simple form to the state 15 months ago filing his previous committee before any district was created is proof Noverini was running as a Democrat. Nonpartisan retention elections are running as a Democrat.
    Sheriff Curran, Judge Hutchinson and Judge Noverini all have public records triple that of Shanes. Shanes has never been elected and has no business and political record vs. Noverini’s record:
    Political experience:
    Republican precinct committeeman (1996-2006).
    Chairman of the Dundee Township Republicans in 2004 and in 2006.
    Government experience:
    Kane County Board – Elected 2002 and 2006.
    Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioner – Elected 2002 and 2006.
    Chairman – Finance and Budget Committee – Kane County.
    Member – Criminal Justice Steering Committee – Kane County.
    Member – Judicial and Public Safety Committee – Kane County.
    Member – Public Building Commission – Kane County.
    Village Trustee – Village of Carpentersville – Elected – 1999.
    Member Zoning Board of Appeals – Village of Carpentersville.
    ‘Business Experience:
    Director – Parkway Bank and Trust Company.
    Director – American Heartland Bank and Trust Company.
    That’s why all the Shanes people can do is scream louder “He’s a Democrat” with out of context “facts” and outright lies. All they can think about is Griffin’s money in the fall.
    Shanes is the Bruce Rauner of judicial candidates.
    Just like Rauner’s only track record was soliciting money from Democrat pension funds, what little we have about Shanes’ track record is not good. The sad thing is after being duped with Richard Irvin, Griffin might just decide to leave Illinois with his company and not put a dime with any Republican Supreme Court candidate. Then we would be stuck with a candidate like Shanes who has no grass roots appeal and no real money