AP: Challenger ousts incumbent Cook County circuit court clerk

Mariyana Spyropoulos appears to have defeated incumbent Iris Martinez for the Democratic nomination as Cook County circuit court clerk.

The Associated Press declared Spyropoulos the winner at 8:19 p.m., with an estimated 69% of votes counted.

Later on, with 81% of the vote counted at 10:30 p.m., Spyropoulos had 293,358 votes — about 65% of the total — to Martinez’s 158,325.

If the unofficial results hold, Spyropoulos will face Republican Lupe Aguirre and Libertarian Michael Murphy in the November general election.

Martinez, a former state senator elected to the office in 2020, said during the campaign that her accomplishments in her first term — including updating and automating the office’s technology — and her position as an independent Democrat made her the best choice for primary voters.

But Spyropoulos, a former Cook County prosecutor and private practice attorney who spent 13 years as a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner, said the office has been mismanaged under Martinez. She said her experience as an attorney makes her better suited to head up the office, which is charged with maintaining the records of one of the world’s largest unified court systems.

In her Daily Herald candidate questionnaire, Martinez cited as her accomplishments the digitization of 70 million court records; the establishment of a domestic violence survivor center that provides a safe place for individuals seeking protective orders; and processing thousands of backlogged expungement requests.

Spyropoulos wrote in her questionnaire that bail bonds have not been refunded in a timely manner during Martinez’s tenure. To that end, she cited an August 2023 ABC 7 report about a man who waited more than a year for a refund of the $100 bail he posted for his son after his son’s case was dismissed.

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