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updated: 11/2/2010 7:31 AM

State high-court judge could be 1st not retained

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  • Thomas Kilbride

    Thomas Kilbride

Associated Press

No justice has ever not been retained during an election in the annals of Illinois Supreme Court history. There's at least a chance that could change.

Thomas Kilbride is unopposed on Tuesday's ballot in a simple up-or-down vote on whether he should retain his seat, which is based in north central Illinois. He needs 60 percent to win retention to another 10-year term.

The 57-year-old Democrat had to scramble to defend himself against a well-funded campaign by business interests seeking to get him bounced. The group advocates tort reform and criticized Kilbride for a February vote that helped overturn a state law capping damages in medical malpractice cases.

A defeat could shift the balance of the high court, currently composed of four Democrats and three Republicans.