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ELECTIONS 2020 Jill Rose Quinn heads toward being state's first openly transgender judge
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-04-01

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Among those notching victories on March 14, during Illinois' primary, was Democratic judicial candidate Jill Rose Quinn.

Her win was significant in many ways—including the fact that she will apparently be the first openly transgender judge in the state. ( So far, Quinn has no opponent for the November general election. )

Windy City Times: In this age of the coronavirus, how did you celebrate your win?

Jill Rose Quinn: We [partner Stephanie Marder] thought about going to a small party of 10 people or less [a decision that was made before the strict statewide mandate was given] but as the night got on the results trickled in—and it was at that point that it was too late to really do anything. I was notified about nine o' clock, and then later it looked pretty good.

By the way, Stephanie, was my campaign manager as well as my source of inspiration.

WCT: Have you thought about the historic implication of being the state's first openly transgender judge?

JRQ: The thought has hit me. It's history—and it's a real victory for the state and the county, in that people can say "We voted for this person." Five years ago, late-night comedians made jokes about transgender people, you know? Now, I will have one of the most respected positions in government—it's astounding. And it's about time, and it's a good day.

WCT: Had you ever thought about ever running for something else, such as state rep?

JRQ: First of all, I have nothing but the utmost respect for state reps. They have very difficult jobs and get paid very little money, and they to run every two years so they're constantly fundraising. It's a really hard job; I don't know if I'm cut out for that. I did think that, if Pete Buttigieg had kept on and won, that he'd be looking for a Supreme Court justice down the line.

The thing about being a circuit court judge is that you're in charge of a population. I want to [interact] with the public, and I'd much rather be in a decision-making role.

And there were some other victories for the [LGBTQ community]; we got Levander Smith elected, we got Mary Cay Marubio elected. And I can't help but be excited that [Cook County State's Attorney and LGBTQ ally] Kim Foxx is continuing. So I was happy about some of the results, and there will be opportunities for other LGBTs to be elected.

WCT: Anything else to say about your win?

JRQ: A lot of it was pieces falling into place, but a lot of it was hard work and people believing in me. It meant a lot to me that people like the mayor [Lori Lightfoot} and [state Sen.] Sara Feigenholtz backed me, and I really appreciated the party's support. I appreciated that the party said, "It's time for diversity." I was supported by a whole bunch of people, and I'm grateful to them, and I'm especially grateful to the people of the state because they opened their hearts to me.

See VoteJillRoseQuinn.com .


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