Cunningham to Black community: I need your support

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Justice Joy V. Cunningham, who sits on the Illinois Appellate Court, said now is the perfect time to grab ahold of a rare vacancy on the Illinois Supreme Court when Justice Thomas Fitzgerald retired in 2010.

@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }Justice Joy V. Cunningham, who sits on the Illinois Appellate Court, said now is the perfect time to grab ahold of a rare vacancy on the Illinois Supreme Court when Justice Thomas Fitzgerald retired in 2010.

Appointed to fill the vacancy left by Fitzgerald is Justice Mary Jane Theis, who is backed by the Democratic Party.

Cunningham said it’s time to let the people decide who will fill the vacancy.

Without the backing of the Democratic Party, Cunningham defeat the odds in 2006 in a five-way primary. Two years prior she became the first African-American woman to be elected President of the 22,000-member Chicago Bar Association, who has endorsed her campaign for the Supreme Court seat.

If she wins against Theis and Justice Aurelia Pucinski, she’ll make history again as the first African-American woman on the Illinois Supreme Court.

“A recent poll we’ve conducted clearly states that we can win this,” Cunningham said at a recent media gathering, referring to the not being slated as the Democratic Party candidate, and going against Theis, who is endorsed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

She said, “I’m highly qualified. I have all the credentials. I’ve been a nurse, an attorney, a general counsel, a litigator, circuit court judge and appellate judge. I’m relateable and I bring a skillset that is unmatched to the bench. Nothing has been handed to me.”

Each day until the March 20 primary arrives, Cunningham said the voters should do thorough research on the candidates and vote who has their best interest at heart. It’s the voters who should make that choice, not someone who gets to handpick their successor.

Cunningham has been endorsed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-7th), Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, several state senators, state representatives and Chicago aldermen.

She’s also received the backing from suburban mayors and several unions and organizations, including the Chicago Teachers Union, Cook County Democratic Women Organization and the Latin American Police Association, among others.

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