Chief Judge Ann Callis swears in newly elected Circuit Judge Bill Mudge.
Mudge with daughter Lauren
As he thanked and praised family, friends and members of Madison County's legal community, William Mudge looked to the back of the courtroom at the man whose seat as circuit judge he'd just filled.
"I have some big shoes to fill, Your Honor," Mudge said to former Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.
Stack smiled back.
"You'll be fine," Stack told Madison County's newest circuit judge.
Mudge was sworn in Monday afternoon in front of a packed courtroom.
He thanked those present for their support.
"I will respect and honor the judicial office," Mudge said.
The former Madison County State's Attorney is the second member of his family to serve as a circuit judge in three generations.
Mudge's grandfather, Richard Mudge, served as a circuit judge in Madison County during the last century.
Mudge, a Democrat, ran unopposed for the circuit seat held by Stack.
Stack retired Friday and will serve as an asbestos bankruptcy trustee and mediator.
The former state's attorney praised his former staff, crediting them with his accomplishments.
And he had advice for his successor, Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons, who was also sworn in this week.
"Tom, you've got a huge task ahead of you," Mudge said before acknowledging his staff in that office. "And my successes were because of these folks."
Mudge family members are fixtures of the Madison County legal community.
In addition to William Mudge serving as state's attorney, his brother, Stephen Mudge is a partner with Reed, Armstrong, Gorman, Mudge, and Morrissey P.C. He has represented several defendants in cases that went to trial in Madison earlier this year.
Additionally, Mudge's stepfather, James Gorman is an attorney.
Mudge's two children, mother, stepfather, and several siblings including Stephen Mudge were in the front row of the courtroom for Monday's swearing in ceremony.
William Mudge has practiced law for 23 years including his eight years as state's attorney.
Mudge has served on a number of civic organizations and governmental commissions including the Judicial Nominating Commission for the U.S. Southern District of Illinois, a post he was selected for by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, D-IL.
At one time he was a partner in the firm of Lucco, Brown & Mudge. Born in Alton, he is an Edwardsville resident.