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Asbestos judge seeking election in Madison County gets big boost from asbestos lawyers

Madison County Record

Thursday, February 13, 2020  |  Article  |  By The Madison County Record

Asbestos (48) , Candidates--Judicial (27b) , Courts (27) , Metro East (65) , Tort Reform (27)
EDWARDSVILLE – Pillars of the Democratic Party provided $17,250 to Republican Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs in his campaign for circuit judge through Dec. 31. 

They accounted for 69 percent of his itemized contributions. 

Contributors with Republican histories gave him a total of $1,000, or four percent. 

Lawyers in the asbestos firm of the late Democratic donor Randy Gori in total contributed the most - $9,500 - to Stobbs, who presides over the county’s asbestos docket. 

David Aubrey, Jason Epps, Christopher Layloff, Robert Marcus, David Mathews, Gregory Sandifer, Jason Steinmeyer, James Stever, and Martavious Thomas, all of Gori’s firm, contributed $950 each. 

Ron Motil of Gori’s firm contributed $500, John Hopkins contributed $250, and Zachry Sandifer contributed $200. 

Associate Judge Barry Julian, formerly Gori’s partner, contributed $950. 

So did Tom Keefe’s personal injury firm in Swansea and the Walton Telken injury firm in Edwardsville. 

Keefe’s firm gave state Rep. Monica Bristow of Alton $5,625 in 2018, and $7,500 this Jan. 22. 

In 2018, his firm gave $7,800 to state Rep. Lisa Dugan of Bradley and $4,200 to state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill. 

Walton Telken gave the Illinois Democratic Party $19,500 from 2016 to 2018. 

In 2016, it gave $2,500 to Madison County state’s attorney Tom Gibbons and $4,000 to appellate court candidate Jo Beth Weber. 

Mark Goldenberg’s injury firm in Edwardsville gave Stobbs $500. 

The firm has given Gibbons $17,500 since 2011, and has given $20,500 to state Rep. Jay Hoffman since 2006. 

In 2018, the firm gave Illinois attorney general Kwame Raoul $25,000. 

Lucco Brown of Edwardsville also gave Stobbs $500. 

The firm has given $5,050 to the Democratic central committee of Madison County since 2006. 

Johnston Law Offices of Edwardsville, a consistent backer of Democratic judges in Madison County, also gave Stobbs $500. 

Cooney and Conway of Chicago, which litigates asbestos cases in Madison County, gave Stobbs $375. 

The firm has contributed about $3.7 million to Illinois candidates. 

It has given $78,500 to a Democratic Majority committee since 2016, and it gave $22,200 to a Democratic Heartland committee in 2018. 

It has given Bristow $19,125 in two years, and it gave $7,500 to state Rep. Katie Stuart of Edwardsville this Jan. 22. 

It gave Raoul $27,500 in 2018. 

Allan Napp of Godfrey gave Stobbs $300. 

He has given the county central committee $4,375 since 2011. 

The Cates Mahoney firm of Swansea gave Stobbs $250. 

The firm has given $20,000 to the state party since 2015, and it has given $14,500 to the party’s central committee in East St. Louis in the last two years. 

Stobbs also received $250 each from Democratic contributors Daniel Schattnik of Wood River, Stephen Mudge of Edwardsville, the Miller King firm of Alton, and the Walker and Williams firm of Belleville. 

Current judges Ronald Slemer and Richard Tognarelli each gave Stobbs $250, and judge Neil Schroeder gave him $175. 

Slemer has given the county central committee $1,025 since 2013, and last year he gave $200 to Amy Gabriel of the Gori firm in her race for circuit clerk. 

Tognarelli has given the county central committee $1,950 since 2006, and last year he gave Gabriel $250. 

Schroeder has given $1,250 to the county central committee since 2014. 

Retired Third Judicial Circuit chief judge Dave Hylla of Granite City and former Twentieth Judicial Circuit chief judge John Baricevic of Belleville each gave Stobbs $200. 

Hylla has given the county central committee $2,700 since 2010, and he gave $300 to sheriff John Lakin in 2018. 

Baricevic gave $3,090 to nine Democratic candidates in local races in 2018. 

Stobbs also received $200 each from Meyer Jensen and Smith Mendenhall, Alton firms that have backed Democrats. 

On the Republican side, Stobbs received $250 each from county board member Ray Wesley of Alton, James Bruner of Springfield, Robert Hamilton of Godfrey, and Honey Do Repair of Granite City. 

Stobbs received $19,877 in contributions that were not itemized. 

He started this year with $42,623.54 available. 

No one gave him $1,000 last fall – a threshold amount that requires a special filing with the state board of elections – but former Third Judicial Circuit chief judge Ann Callis contributed that amount on Jan. 8. 

She ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2016. 

No Republican opposes Stobbs in the primary. He seeks the seat of retired circuit judge Andreas Matoesian. 

Democrat candidate Leslie Ann Wood will appear on the March 17 primary ballot as a write-in candidate. She organized a campaign finance committee on Jan. 2, and it it chaired by John Dowdy of Glen Carbon. 

As of Feb. 12, Committee to Elect Leslie Ann Wood has not yet taken in any contributions exceeding $1,000.