According to a news story on CBS in Chicago there was a judgeship worth $180,000 in the Cook County judicial subcircuit that was up for grabs in the November 8th 2016 election and it was uncontested.

How could a $180,000 post be uncontested?

  • Is this really the Zero Hedge guy?
    – user9790
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 17:33
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    I would think that nobody wanted to do the work to get a salary of $180,000, or did not have the qualifications. It's not uncommon for jobs that are difficult or require many years of education to have fewer candidates applying. Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 19:22
  • Campaigns require a lot of time and often money. If there was no real chance of winning such a position, would you be willing to devote the effort to running a campaign? You get nothing if you lose.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 20:27
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    You can only get elected in Cook county as a democrat. There was a run off in the primaries for the roll. Not to mention an entry level roll on the bench in cook county is a pretty thankless position Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 20:49
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    Wow. The person who won that uncontested seat, but was under charges (and barred from assuming that office while charges were outstanding) for presiding over cases while still a clerk, killed herself. chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/… Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


It's a "job" that isn't just won by applying. Generally speaking, you have to have the political machinery to go out and get yourself elected, usually with the backing of a major political party. The bare minimum to even get considered in the primary is to collect "X" number of signatures on a petition from people in the district who have not signed other similar petitions, so already there's work and probably expense and resources before one ever actually becomes a primary candidate.

If there is one party that generally has stronger control in a region, instead of squandering financial and manpower resources contesting every election, including ones where they have almost no chance of winning, opposition parties will target just positions where they think they can be competitive, leaving others unopposed.

I'm sure there were many people who wouldn't mind having the job, but it takes more than that to get onto the ballot, and even more than that to win the job.

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