Mary Jane Theis, a temporary appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court, won the Democratic nomination yesterday to be one of three Cook County judges on the state's seven-member high court. Theis won 49 percent of the vote, while Joy Cunningham received 23 percent and Aurelia Pucinski claimed 21 percent. Theis is expected to defeat Republican nominee James Riley, a circuit court judge, in the November general election. Riley ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Theis spent more than $1 million in her campaign, leveraging the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Cook County Democratic Party for money and a higher profile. Her two major opponents, Joy Cunningham and Aurelia Pucinski, spent about $540,000 and $30,000 respectively.
Theis spent 17 years as an appellate court judge and boasts high ratings from the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Council of Lawyers. Illinois Supreme Court judges serve 10-year terms.