2 of 3 candidates in Ninth Circuit ‘recommended’ by state bar
In a poll of lawyers conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association for the Ninth Judicial Circuit race, Republican James Standard and Democrat Paul Mangieri received “recommended” ratings, while Democrat Jim Harrell was not recommended.
In order to receive a “recommended” rating, candidates needed to receive 65 percent yes responses to the question “meets requirements of office.” Standard had the highest rating in that category at about 76 percent, while Mangieri had about 68 percent. Harrell received 56 percent.
“I’m very proud of the fact that those attorneys who practiced in front of me have recommended me to the voters as someone who is worthy of the position,” Mangieri said.
Harrell was taking an optimistic approach to the poll results, saying he was “actually extremely honored” he had received more than half positive responses.
Along with “meets requirements of office,” candidates are rated in seven separate categories, including integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity. The only category Harrell was below 65 percent was “legal ability” where he had a 56 percent ranking — identical to his score for “meets requirements of office.”
“Obviously it has been proven by my 18 years of public service that my legal ability is there to represent a man’s life in death penalty cases,” Harrell said. “I think the legal ability is there in all areas; this score may simply reflect a longer practice of criminal law than civil law, even though I’m well versed in both areas.”
He did add he was happy with his ratings in integrity and impartiality, 72 and 75 percent, respectively, characteristics he says have been a focus in the campaign. They also were the only two categories in which he received higher marks than Mangieri, who had scores of 67 percent for integrity and 72 for impartiality.
Mangieri said outside of what he called the “bellwether” mark of the recommendation rating, he didn’t put much stock in the other categories.
“Look at any numbers, those fluctuate. If they sent out those ballots again, you’d see a fluctuation in the percentages. What remains the bellwether and true is the ‘recommended’ or ‘not recommended’ category,” he said.
For the poll, released this week by the ISBA, ballots were sent to 149 attorneys, 103 of whom retuned them. The ISBA asked attorneys to respond “only if they have sufficient knowledge about a candidate’s qualifications for judicial office to give a fair, informed opinion.”
Harrell said going forward he was more focused on the voters.
“The poll is great. But I’m more concerned about the voters making the decision on Feb. 5, that’s the tally that’s really going to count,” he said. “I feel strong going into the campaign.”
Standard, who does not have a challenger in the Republican primary, could not be reached for comment.
Candidate ratings were as followed (all percentage figures are rounded):
Recommended/not recommended: Harrell, not recommended; Mangieri, recommended; Standard, recommended
Meets requirements of office: Harrell, 56 percent; Mangieri, 68 percent; Standard 76 percent
Integrity: Harrell, 72 percent; Mangieri, 67 percent; Standard, 89 percent
Impartiality: Harrell, 75 percent; Mangieri 72 percent; Standard 87 percent
Legal Ability: Harrell, 56 percent; Mangieri 85 percent; Standard 96 percent
Temperament: Harrell, 80 percent; Mangieri 88 percent; Standard 55 percent
Court Management: Harrell, 68 percent; Mangieri 83 percent; Standard 87 percent
Health: Harrell, 93 percent; Mangieri, 97 percent; Standard 92 percent
Sensitivity: Harrell, 84 percent; Mangieri, 86; percent Standard, 84 percent