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Election preview: Voters get to select judge for 15th subcircuit position

In the June 28 primary, voters in parts of Homewood and Flossmoor will be nominating a candidate for a judgeship in the 15th Judicial Subcircuit.

Bernadette Barrett and Jim Gleffe are Democratic candidates running for election in the 15th subcircuit in the primary election. Currently, Cook County Circuit Court is served by 125 associate judges who are selected by circuit judges through mail-in ballot; 97 circuit judges elected countywide by the voters; and 164 judges elected by voters in the 15 subcircuits representing a specific geographic area.

The judicial subcircuit system of 15 subcircuits was created in 1991 to help diversify those serving on the bench. This past legislative session, the Judicial Circuits Districting Act of 2022 was passed and signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to help widen the pool by adding another five subcircuits. Voters will select judges in those new subcircuits in the 2024 election.

Barrett has a diverse practice at The Barrett Law Group in Orland Park which she founded in 2019. Her resume speaks of her work in civil, family, divorce, corporate, litigation and labor law, and domestic violence counseling. She has been an attorney for 29 years entering the practice after earning a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago Law School in 1991. Upon graduation she joined Barrett & Sramek in Palos Heights as an associate and became a partner attorney serving until she started her own practice. 

Besides her practice work, Barrett is currently an attorney and advisor to the U.S. Small Business Administration in Chicago.

Outside of her law practice, Barrett is a trustee on the Moraine Valley Community College board of trustees, chair of the Association of Community College Trustees and a board member and attorney with Rise from the Ashes, DuPage, Kane and Will County, a nonprofit organization providing free civil legal counsel to financially struggling individuals leaving abusive relationships.

Gleffe’s resume lists his work as an attorney for various government agencies. He worked in the City of Chicago’s Law Department, the financial securities division of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, in the City of Chicago Clerk’s Office, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office and is currently deputy chief of staff and labor counsel for the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

A campaign spokesman said Gleffe works with organized labor to ensure that employees are treated fairly and with dignity while coming up with new ways to provide important government services to the public.

Through his various positions, Gleffe says he has gained experience in civil rights litigation, labor and employment law, securities law, state and local government practice, municipal law, administration law, real estate and tax law.

Gleffe has been an attorney for 14 years. He is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law.

There are no Republican candidates for the 15th Judicial Subcircuit position.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, June 28. Voters can also cast ballots at Prairie State College during early voting June 13 through June 27. Voters have until June 23 to request a mail-in ballot from the Cook County Clerk’s Office at cookcountyclerkil.gov.

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