Will County Circuit judge to run for Illinois Supreme Court seat

The Joliet native was elected as a Will County circuit court judge in 2018

A circuit court judge from Will County said he wants to run for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Vincent Cornelius, 57, has served as a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge in Will County since his election in 2018. In a post on his Facebook page last week, he announced his intention to run to be a justice on the highest court in the state.

“This is something that I’ve contemplated pursuing for years,” Cornelius told The Herald-News.

Cornelius added that next year’s election offers an opportunity for a justice from Will County to serve on the court, which to his knowledge has not happened before. He said the county’s representation on the supreme court has “been muted from time to time,” even though it has been one of the largest in its district.

Cornelius is originally from Joliet and resides in Naperville.

A spot on the court opened up after former Justice Thomas Kilbride failed to gain the requisite votes to retain his seat in last November’s election. Kilbride represented the 3rd District which includes several counties across north central Illinois, including Will County.

The race is also partisan, so Cornelius said he will running as a Democrat, just like he did when he ran for circuit court judge.

Cornelius has served as the president of the Illinois State Bar Association, on government commissions and committees, as well as on university, hospital and corporate boards.

He holds a business degree from the University of St. Francis in Joliet and a law degree from Northern Illinois University.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.