SPRINGFIELD — Belleville attorney Julie Gomric received the majority of votes cast by 20th Judicial Circuit judges to fill the last remaining associate judgeship position.
Michael Tardy, the director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, certified Thursday that Gomric won a majority of the 12 votes cast by the circuit judges, who are elected by the people. The breakdown of the vote was not immediately available Friday.
Gomric, an associate of the Belleville law firm of O'Gara and Gomric, P.C., won the position in a runoff after she previously tied with attorney Patricia Kievlan.
Three associate judges in all were chosen during this year's round of selections including Joseph Christ, a St. Clair County assistant state's attorney and Chris Kolker, a Belleville lawyer.
Gomric must be sworn in before she can assume the office. She could not be reached Friday for comment.
The three associate judge spots became open because:
* Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto retired and former Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson was elected as circuit judge leaving Gleeson's associate judgeship open.
* Appointed Circuit Judge Steve McGlynn, whose term was about to expire, ran for the appellate court but lost and former Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot was elected to that circuit judge spot, leaving Lopinot's associate judgeship open.
* Former Associate Judge Zina Cruse was elected to the circuit judge spot that opened with the retirement of Milton Wharton, leaving her associate judgeship open.
Stanley Franklin, who heads the East St. Louis chapter of the NAACP, publicly commented that a black candidate should have been named to at least one of the three openings. All three newly named associate judges are white.
Chief Judge John Baricevic has said the appointment of judges is based on merit, not race.
Tardy said the race, gender and ages of judges are not tracked.
Contact reporter George Pawlaczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2625.