Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/8)

July 8, 2022

Public Health


Judge Lisa Holder White becomes first Black female justice sworn in to Illinois Supreme Court 

Justice Lisa Holder White became the first Black woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court after being sworn in at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield on Thursday morning, an event that drew a full theater and nearly 200 viewers online.

Holder White was appointed to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman, the state’s longest serving judge, who called it a “historic day for the Land of Lincoln.”

Justice Holder White received a B.A. in political science from Lewis University in 1990 and her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1993. After working in private practice for several years, she was appointed to an associate judge position in Illinois’ 6th Judicial Circuit. Prior to her appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court, Holder White served as Fourth District Appellate Court Justice.

In her speech, Holder White thanked those who had supported her throughout her career and remarked on this historic achievement, saying “my heritage is a heritage that once involved minds and bodies that were shackled, and doors that were so long closed.”

Around the State


Lightfoot ends second quarter with $2.5M in campaign fund after raising $1.25M

Mayor Lightfoot reported raising $1.25M and a total of $2.5M in cash on hand during the second quarter, putting her fundraising well ahead of most other declared candidates (except millionaire businessman Willie Wilson) but well below the $7.5M cash on hand that former Mayor Rahm Emanuel reported in the second quarter of 2019 before announcing he wouldn’t seek a third term. The mayor faces a challenging re-election campaign as she seeks to combat low approval ratings and a number of challenges facing Chicago. Top campaign issues will likely include addressing rising crime rates and police reform, Chicago’s economic future, and education.

Chicago’s mayoral election is slated for February 2023, and the race is expected to be fierce and costly. Mayor Lightfoot faces competition from a growing list of declared contenders, including former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, Ald. Ray Lopez, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, local businessman Willie Wilson, veteran cop Frederick Collins, and state Rep. Kam Buckner. Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and current Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins are also reportedly polling for potential mayoral runs.

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