Wright Under Consideration for 7th Circuit Judicial Vacancy

By Benjamin Cox on October 4, 2023 at 10:56am

Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright is under consideration to fill a vacancy in the 7th Judicial Circuit.

Wright is hoping to gain appointment to the post left vacant by the death of Matthew Mauer, who passed away on July 23rd. At least six other candidates have expressed interest in the job according to the Illinois Times, which include Andrew Affrunti, Rex Gradeless, Kateah McMasters, Lorelei Nickols, Abby Sgro and Ali Mikels.

The 44-year old Wright, is a graduate of Illinois College and was a partner at Brown, Hay & Stephens before being appointed to state’s attorney in 2017. Wright won a full term in 2020.

Wright recently hired former Sangamon County state’s Attorney John Milhiser on July 10th as an assistant state’s attorney. Wright replaced Milhiser as Sangamon County State’s Attorney when Milhiser was appointed to U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois in 2018 by former President Donald Trump. Milhiser was also appointed to the position of Sangamon County State’s Attorney in 2010 after the death of John Schmidt. Milhiser ran in the GOP primary for Illinois secretary of state in June 2022, losing to former state Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington.

Milhiser’s wife, Gail Noll, is a Sangamon County circuit judge. To avoid a potential conflict of interest while her husband works for the State’s Attorney’s Office, Noll has recused herself from handling all future felony cases, and current felony cases on her docket have been reassigned to other judges, according to the Chief Justice of the 7th Circuit Ryan Cadigan.

Judges who currently reside on the 7th Circuit have the opportunity to name the interim replacement. The 7th Circuit covers Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Morgan, Sangamon, and Scott counties.

Filing by candidates who want to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries for state’s attorney begins Nov. 27 and continues through Dec. 4. The primary will be March 19th.

CORRECTION: It was incorrectly reported earlier that Wright had made an announcement for this vacancy. Wright did not make such announcement. We humbly apologize for this error.