Meet the candidates

Meet the candidates

The 45th Ward Independent Democrats spent countless hours over the course of several weeks interviewing candidates for nearly every national, state and local race appearing on the ballot this election cycle. We take seriously our responsibilities to the process of endorsing candidates that we – and 45th Ward residents – can be proud of. Over the next few days, we will introduce to you the candidates we are supporting. We hope you will support them too!

10th Judicial Subcircuit: JUDGE EVE MARIE REILLY

Judge Eve Marie Reilly

Judge Eve Marie Reilly was born and raised in Chicago and is a proud resident of the 45th Ward! After graduating from law school, Judge Reilly served over 17 years in the Cook County State’s Attorney office, where she was responsible for prosecuting complex Appellate and Supreme Court cases, as well as numerous cases in the trial courts. As an Assistant State’s Attorney from 2006 to 2012, Judge Reilly supervised Assistant State’s Attorneys in the prosecution of criminal appeals before the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts.  Judge Reilly was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a judicial vacancy in August 2014.

11th Judicial Subcircuit: JUDGE MARC MARTIN

Judge Marc Martin
Judge Marc Martin is in a three-way race in the 11th Subcircuit, which includes parts of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th precincts in the 45th Ward. Judge Martin is the only candidate in his race that has been found “Highly Qualified” by the Chicago Bar Association. In addition to our endorsement, Judge Marc Martin has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune.  If you live in the 11th Subcircuit, please vote for Marc Martin.

Circuit Court of Cook County 


Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke

John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr. was raised on the South-side of Chicago, in the Robert Taylor housing project and Englewood communities. An Army veteran and former postal worker, John earned his way through college and law school. After law school, he then joined the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney, where he remained for 6 years before going into private practice. In July 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed John to the Circuit Court of Cook County.


Judge Fernandez

Judge Rossana Patricia Fernandez was born and raised in Chicago. She is a graduate of Lane Tech High School, University of Illinois, and IIT Chicago Kent College of Law. In her almost 18 years of practice, Judge Fernandez served as primary trial counsel for many Fortune 500 Companies in both State and Federal courts. Her extensive litigation experience includes over 100 bench trials, 25 jury trials to verdict, several arbitration hearings and participation in alternative dispute resolution. In 2013, Judge Fernandez became an entrepreneur and established her own law practice that she maintained and managed until she was appointed as a full circuit court judge.

ALISON CONLON (Hogan vacancy)
Judge Alison Conlon

Judge Alison Conlon received an undergraduate degree from Yale, a masters from Georgetown, and her law degree from Duke Law School. Judge Conlon was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court on February 2, 2015.  Before becoming a judge, Judge Conlon was a partner in the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, where she represented people, businesses, cities and villages in commercial and tort litigation.  Before that, she was an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and a law clerk to Judge Charles Kocoras.


Judge Alexandra Gillespie

Alexandra Gillespie was appointed to the bench 2 years ago by the Illinois Supreme Court. She’s been endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Judge Gillespie has been rated “Qualified” and “Recommended” by ALL Bar Associations.  For a list of additional endorsements and more information about her, please visit Judge Gillespie’s website.

SEAN CHAUDHURI (Johnson vacancy)

Sean Chaudhuri

Sean Chaudhuri is a lifelong Democrat and the first Indian-American ever to be slated by the Cook County Democratic Party. He is the legal director for Apna-Ghar, which is a Domestic Violence Shelter for South-Asian women. Sean primarily practices in the areas of Family Law, Contested Divorces and Custody Case, Parentage Cases, Dui Defense, Foreclosure Defense, Building Court Cases, Eviction Cases, and Real Estate Litigation.

DEVLIN JOSEPH SCHOOP (Karnezis vacancy)

Judge Devlin Schoop

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Judge Devlin Schoop to the bench in August 2016.  Judge Schoop was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from Whitney Young High School. Judge Schoop is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago NOW (National Organization of Women) PAC and Personal PAC.  Judge Schoop has the highest bar association ratings of any candidate in his race.  Judge Schoop is a former union beer vendor at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park.  Visit Judge Schoop’s website.

BRENDAN O’BRIEN (Love vacancy)

Judge Brendan OBrien

Brendan O’Brien has been an attorney primarily practicing in Cook County for over 19 years, including as a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson for 13 years. My practice is primarily litigation and trial work defending doctors and community based hospitals.  Prior to practicing law, I had the honor to serve as an Appropriation Analyst in the Illinois House of Representatives Democratic Majority.


Maureen ODonoghue Hannon

As a practicing attorney for over 24 years, Maureen O’Donoghue Hannon has a breadth of experience. For 20 years, she has been an Assistant States Attorney here in Cook County in the Civil Actions Bureau. Maureen has practiced in most of the divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County including chancery, probate, county, law, and the municipal division and as well as defended the County from constitutional claims in litigation in federal court. Four years ago, she was appointed as the Supervisor of the Conflicts Counsel Unit, a relatively new unit which represents County defendants in cases with a potential conflict of interest that were formerly sent out to private firms.

PATRICK HENEGHAN (Palmer vacancy)

Patrick Heneghan

Born and raised in Chicago, Pat Heneghan clerked for two federal judges in the years immediately following law school. Following his judicial clerkships, Pat returned to Chicago to represent individuals; small businesses; and large, multi-national corporations as both plaintiffs and defendants. His cases have involved complex matters on a wide range of subjects, including antitrust; insurance coverage; legal malpractice; civil racketeering (RICO); partnership, real estate, and bankruptcy disputes; and corporate and securities cases.

DANIEL PATRICK DUFFY (Ruscitti Grussel vacancy)

Daniel Patrick Duffy

Judge Duffy was appointed to the bench in April 2014 and is presently assigned to the First Municipal District, Non-Jury Civil Section. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Duffy practiced law for nearly twenty years, appearing in both state and federal court. In addition, from 2004 until 2013, Duffy served by appointment of the Illinois Supreme Court on the nine-member Review Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, hearing appeals of disciplinary hearings as part of a three-member panel. Judge Duffy resides in Chicago with his wife and two children, 7 and 9.

FREDRICK BATES (Walsh vacancy)

Judge Fredrick Bates

Judge Fredrick Bates has 33 years legal experience including 15 years as an Administrative Law Judge and Hearing Official, and over 15 years as a trial attorney. He has been favorably rated by all of the Bar Associations, and is endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party. He is a hard-working, exceedingly competent man of service, and an excellent choice for Circuit Court Judge. Fred will be fair, and show fidelity to the law.

Appellate Court Justice

EILEEN O’NEILL BURKE (Punch 191)Judge Burke

Judge Burke has been a criminal prosecutor and a defense attorney.  As a lawyer, Judge Burke wrote over 100 appellate briefs and argued over 35 times in the Appellate Court. Since being elected to the bench in 2008, Judge Burke has presided over a vast majority of all types of civil court calls. She is currently assigned to a Commercial Calendar in Law Division where she presides over complex civil litigation.Judge Burke grew up on the Northside of Chicago. She and her husband of 25 years, John, have 4 children


Justice Bertina Lampkin

Justice Lampkin has been a trial judge for 22 years and an appellate court justice for 6 years. ELEVEN of 12 bar associations have given her their highest ratings for the Appellate Court. Justice Lampkin has taught judges around the state on various aspects of law for 20 years. Justice Lampkin is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Illinois State and Chicago Federation of labor, the CBTU, Secretary of State Jesse White, Congressman Jan Schakowski, several State Representatives, the Italian-American PAC, the Indo-American Democratic Party, Polish-American Lawyers Association, FOP, The Soul Slate, the Chicago Citizen newspaper , the Northwest side PAC and many others.