Christina Stueve Hodges Nov. 8, 2012, 3:28pm

Circuit Judge-elect Vincent Lopinot said his new job come December in the 20th Judicial Circuit is “kind of a culmination” of his career as a lawyer and an associate circuit judge.

“Obviously, I feel really good," he said. "I’m really happy voters thought enough of me to elect me to be a circuit judge.

Lopinot, a Democrat, handily defeated Belleville attorney Ronald Duebbert, a Republican, by a margin of 56-44. The vote total was 86,260-68,886.

In St. Clair County, Lopinot had 67,016 votes to Duebbert's 43,539, a margin of 61-39.

But outside St. Clair County in the counties of Randolph, Washington, Monroe and Perry, Duebbert received more votes - 25,347 to Lopinot's 19,244, or a margin of 57-43.

Lopinot, who will be sworn in Dec. 3, said he could continue hearing major civil cases, which he’s done over the last year.

“I don’t know what my assignment will be next year," Lopinot said. "There’s a good chance it could be the same.”

In spite of defeat, Duebbert said he would consider running again when the opportunity arises.

“I do not know when that will be, because I do not know when there will be an open position,” Duebbert said Thursday.

“Clearly, it was worth the effort. There’s a steep learning curve. As a candidate, one faces the job of getting to know his or her electorate. I’ve spent the last year getting to know the electorate."

Duebbert plans to run a stronger campaign in St. Clair County in his next run for an open seat.

“It is clear I had all the other counties easily," Duebbert said. "That’s a good thing for a Republican candidate. Until my opponent agrees to disqualify himself from cases in which his contributors have made a contribution in a reportable amount, then I stick by my statement that influence is affecting the circuit bench in his race.”

More News