Two Republicans vying for Romani's seat in primary; No Democratic challenge to Napp

By Ann Maher | Dec 8, 2011



Another attorney is seeking election to the Third Judicial Circuit and soon-to-be-vacant seat of retiring Judge Charles V. Romani, Jr.

Hamel attorney Thomas Burkart filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections to run as a Republican in the March 20 primary election.

The filing period to run in the primary closed on Dec. 5.

Burkart will face Edwardsville attorney Mark Rabe, who announced earlier this week his intention to run for Romani's seat.

Rabe, who works as in-house counsel for Boeing in St. Louis, said in an announcement that his campaign will focus on how his experience will help bring the unbiased rule of law into sharper focus.

Rabe is a 1986 graduate of Harvard Law School. He received his undergraduate degree in history from Southern Illinois University in 1983.

Burkart said he had been unaware that Rabe was also seeking the seat. He said his main motivation for running was to give voters a choice in November.

Burkart, who is experienced in civil and criminal litigation, said he believes he will be the best candidate on the ballot in March as well as in November.

On his campaign web page, Burkart, who is the supervising attorney and co-owner of Burkart Law Offices, states, "The Circuit bench should be well balanced. The State's Attorney's office should not be a minor league farm system for the Circuit Bench. There should be some representation from persons who know what it takes to run a successful business."

He received his under graduate degree at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned his juris doctorate at St. Louis University School of Law in 1985.

Madison County Associate Judge Kyle Napp, meanwhile, will not face any opposition running as a Democrat in the primary next year.

Napp, who was appointed associate judge in 2007, presides in the court's felony division. Prior to serving as judge, she worked 14 years as an assistant Madison County state's attorney.

She was a double major in finance and real estate at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a graduate of the law school at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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The Boeing Company University of Missouri - Columbia

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