Cook County judicial hopeful kicked off ballot over concealed name

A Cook County circuit judge has struck a judicial candidate from the March primary ballot after finding that she was trying to win the seat by using a name that is different from how she is legally known.

Attorney Caroline Golden, who was trying to run using her maiden name, Caroline Patricia Jamieson, will be removed from the ballot, Circuit Judge Paul A. Karkula ruled on Jan 30. His decision, filed with the court clerk Tuesday, overrules the Cook County Electoral Board, which earlier had found precedent for candidates running under their maiden names.

Golden on Tuesday filed a notice of her intention to appeal Karkula’s ruling.

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Golden has represented former Chicago Police Department detectives accused of misconduct, including Jon Burge and Reynaldo Guevara, both of whom have repeatedly been found to have beaten suspects into false confessions. Golden could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Attorney Luke Casson, who filed the challenge against Golden, said he was not concerned with what had motivated Golden. “I think the use of some other name other than her actual name is inherently deceptive,” he said.

Caroline P. Golden

Golden was running against three other candidates — Deidre Baumann, Maura McMahon Zeller and Russell W. Hartigan — for an open seat on the Cook County circuit court.

She ran for a seat two years ago under the name Caroline Jamieson Golden but lost that contest. Her registration to practice law in Illinois, her admission to practice in federal court and her voter registration all identify her as Golden.

“The Candidate’s legal given and surname is Caroline Patricia Golden and remained so on November 25, 2019, when the nomination petitions were filed with the Board of Elections, and was not legally changed to Jamieson at any time prior to November 25, 2019,” Karkula wrote.

Candidates with Irish female-sounding names have a proven edge in Cook County elections, according to a study by former research analyst Albert Klumpp. After Philip Spiwak ran and lost, he changed his name to Shannon O’Malley and won.

Golden’s history representing law enforcement officials accused of misconduct under a different name than the one under which she is running adds another wrinkle to her candidacy. Her representation of Burge, Guevara and other officers whose conduct led to wrongful convictions would likely impact voters aware of her work.

In his decision, Karkula noted that Golden had changed her name legally to Golden following her marriage. She applied for an associate judgeship as Caroline Patricia Golden and her most recent bar ratings were under the name Caroline Jamieson Golden.

“The Candidate has been known as and used the name Caroline Golden for close to 20 years,” Karkula wrote.