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Illinois GOP working to oust Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride
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Illinois GOP working to oust Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride

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Republicans are working hard to balance the scales of justice in Illinois.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider, along with other party officials, has formed a grassroots coalition group to oust Democratic Supreme Court Judge Thomas Kilbride, who will be on the Nov. 3 ballot for retention. 

Schneider stressed the importance of voting against retaining Kilbride during a press conference Tuesday at the Rock Island County Republican Party headquarters, 500 16th St., Rock Island, following stops in Joliet and Peoria.

"Justice Kilbride has supported crushing the fair maps initiative, he's voted against pension reform, he's voted against term limits, he's voted against tort reform," Schneider said. "These are all things we need here to reform Illinois, and he hasn't done it."

Schneider alleged Kilbride was handpicked by Illinois Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan and does Madigan's bidding by voting for or against the speaker's causes to benefit Madigan and the Democratic party. 

"You know that by the amount of money and effort Madigan has put behind (Kilbride's) retention every time," Schneider said. "We need to reform Illinois. And the way we can do that is to write through the Third Judicial District."

Kilbride represents the Third Judicial District and was first elected in 2000. He served as chief justice from 2010 to 2013. State supreme court justices are elected to 10-year terms.

Kilbride was retained in 2010 with 65% of the vote. Schneider said the Illinois Republican Party is putting a lot of effort into making sure it doesn't happen again.

"We believe it's going to catch fire here shortly," Schneider said. "We are going to be able to raise a great deal of money to fight against the retention of Justice Kilbride. 

"We are going to send him packing; we are going to deliver a strong message this time."

Kilbride has already been endorsed by numerous bipartisan public safety officials across the state, including sheriffs, state's attorneys and judges in more than a dozen counties in the Third Judicial District. 

Esther Joy King, Republican candidate for the 17th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Kilbride is "willing to go against the will of the people on fair maps and term limits just because he is associated with someone like Mike Madigan. We deserve better than that as citizens of Illinois. This is our opportunity to vote 'no' on retaining Justice Tom Kilbride."

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