Southern Illinois lawyer who sued Pritzker and sought photos of him flouting COVID-19 rules now running for judge seat

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Thomas DeVore, a lawyer from downstate Sorento, is running for the Illinois Appellate Court.
Thomas DeVore, a lawyer from downstate Sorento, is running for the Illinois Appellate Court. | Provided.

Thomas DeVore, a Sorento resident, filed paperwork Tuesday to run as a Republican for a seat on the state’s 5th Appellate District Court, which is located in Mt. Vernon. 

A downstate lawyer who has sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker — and once offered what Pritzker called a “bounty” for photos of the governor out celebrating Thanksgiving at the height of the pandemic — now wants a seat on the state’s appellate court.

Thomas DeVore, a Sorento resident, filed paperwork Tuesday creating a campaign fund to support his run as a Republican for a seat on the state’s 5th Appellate District Court, which is located in Mount Vernon, the Jefferson County seat in southern Illinois.

That district hears appellate cases from 37 counties, including Alexander, Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin and Jackson.

Devore didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The lawyer has previously filed suit on behalf of state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, seeking to overturn Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.

Then state Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, last year.
From Facebook.
Then state Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, last year.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Pritzker said his wife and teenage daughter planned to remain in Florida “indefinitely” because the high school student was sent “hateful, threatening messages” after a post appeared on social media that falsely identified the girl in it as Pritzker’s daughter.

The post allegedly showed Pritzker’s daughter ignoring the city’s COVID-19 restrictions while dining outdoors.

Another social media post, from Devore, offered what Pritzker called a “bounty” for photos of the governor himself out celebrating Thanksgiving.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at the Thompson Center last year.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at the Thompson Center last year.

At the time, the lawyer denied that characterization.

On Facebook, Devore wrote, “I will pay $1,000 to the first journalist who provides me footage of Pritzker out celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family!! Spread the word far and wide for this mission ‘Operation Thanksgiving Tyrant Track[.]’”

Reached after Pritzker’s November briefing, DeVore said he doesn’t support or promote photos being taken of the governor’s children, agreeing Pritzker’s daughter is “completely off limits — she’s not anything but a child, she’s not a politician.”

But he insisted at the time the governor’s characterization of the post was wrong.

“I think he’s probably frustrated because somebody posted a picture of his daughter, and I certainly understand that, but characterizing what I put out as a bounty on him and his family is completely ridiculous,” DeVore said in November.

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July 27, 2021 at 06:30PM

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