Chief Judge Evans announces Election Board finalists

Released On 12/11/2015

Seven applicants have qualified as candidates for the soon-to-be open seat on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans announced today.


The qualified candidates are (in alphabetical order):


  • Robert W. Bertucci, Cook County Circuit Judge (Democrat)
  • Fred Fortier, attorney at Fortier Law Offices and general manager of Galena Development (Democrat)
  • Dick Simpson, political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Democrat)
  • Thomas E. Soule, attorney (Democrat)
  • Jonathan T. Swain, chairman of the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals and president of Kimbark Beverage Shoppe (Democrat)
  • Betty Tsamis, attorney at Tsamis Law Firm P.C. (Democrat)
  • Sean Vinck, director of Enterprise IT Transformation and senior legal adviser for the State of Oregon (Democrat)


Chief Judge Evans will interview all seven candidates and select one candidate to submit to the Circuit Judges of the Cook County Circuit Court for approval. To join the board, the candidate needs the approval of a majority of the Circuit Judges. The interviews will begin Monday, December 14, and the decision of the Circuit Judges is anticipated by the end of December.

Under a state statute, the composition of the three-member board is to include one member from the state’s two leading political parties. Currently, the board has one Democrat and one Republican. The current opening is not limited to any political party.

The current vacancy occurred when Election Board Chairman Langdon D. Neal informed Chief Judge Evans that he would step down at the end of this month.

Under state law, vacancies are filled by the Circuit Court where the Election Board is located. The Cook County Board has set Chicago Board of Election Commissioner salaries at $77,798 annually. Commissioners serve three-year terms.

The commissioners manage voter registrations; safeguard the rights of all voters to cast ballots independently in a safe and quiet atmosphere, free of interference or intimidation; and inform voters of all of their balloting options, such as Election Day voting, Early Voting and Vote By Mail.

In addition, the board serves as the quasi-judicial arm of the courts and issues decisions when a voter objects to the nominating petitions of a candidate who wants to be on the Election Day ballot. Such offices include Chicago Mayor, Chicago Alderman, Ward Committeeman, City Treasurer, City Clerk and certain Congressional, Illinois Senate and Illinois House of Representatives Districts that fall partly or entirely in the City of Chicago.  

For the current vacancy, the balance of the term will end on November 30, 2017, when Neal’s three-year term would have concluded.


The candidates’ application forms can be found at Printed versions of the applications and supporting documents may be viewed in person, by appointment, in the Office of the Chief Judge, Room 2600 of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St.


To schedule an appointment to review the applications and supporting documents in person, contact either Pat Milhizer at (312) 603-5160 or Rose Mary Marasso at (312) 603-6553. The inspection period begins today and runs through the day that the appointment is made.



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