Judicial candidates use social media to thank supporters

By Bethany Krajelis | Nov 15, 2012

After utilizing Facebook throughout the election cycle, several area judicial candidates signed on to the social media site last week to send out a few final campaign messages.

Regardless of whether they won or lost, the majority of candidates posted messages on their campaign Facebook pages shortly after the Nov. 6 election that thanked their families and supporters.

Madison County Associate Judge Napp, who won a circuit judgeship over Hamel attorney Thomas Burkart, on Election Day wrote, “Thank you to everyone who voted me and gave me your support. It looks like I won the election by a very large margin. I will work hard every day to live up to your trust.”

She followed up with a “We won! We won! We won! Thank you all for support! Awesome!” post later that day, presumably after all of the votes were tallied.

Burkart, who ran against Napp as a Republican, said on his Facebook page that “I believe in the Republic in which we live and the validity of the vote. I thank those who supported me, and I congratulate my opponent.”

On Nov. 8, both Napp and Chief Judge Ann Callis posted on their pages that “Judge Callis and Judge Napp send a big thank you to our Facebook family. We are so grateful for your support.”

Callis won her retention bid in last week’s election, along with Judges Barbara Crowder, Dave Hylla and John Knight. Despite a campaign seeking to unseat the judges, all four were retained to the bench for another six-year term.

Crowder’s Facebook page showed this message shortly after the election: “Thank you to everyone for your support during this retention election! Judge Barb Crowder appreciates your trust and confidence, and will continue to remain dedicated to justice in Madison County for all citizens. Thank you!”

She also said by phone on Nov. 7 that she was pleased to receive support from the voters, especially given the campaign that Citizens for Judicial Integrity launched against her and her colleagues.

As of Thursday, it appears that Crowder’s campaign page has been taken down. The same goes for Knight, who previously took to Facebook to thank his fans for their support and confidence. He also promised to continue to do his best behind the bench.

Hylla on Nov. 7 signed on to the popular social media site to thank everyone who helped him win his retention bid.

In a written statement, he thanked voters for doing their part, saying that “participation is vital to our system. I hope that you stay interested in our Court and stay apprised of the efforts each one of us make on a daily basis to do justice for all out citizens regardless of political party or social status,”

He added, “I promise that any person who appears before me will be treated equally under the law whether past supporter or opponent. I have worked hard to give everyone a fair and impartial Court to resolve their differences and will continue to do so.”

Hylla also thanked everyone who volunteered their time to his campaign, as well as his wife, daughter and parents for their love and support.

The day after the election, Swansea attorney Judy Cates, who won the seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court, thanked her friends for their kind words and support.

“You all have been so generous and so helpful to me throughout this endeavor. Without all of your help, this victory would not have been possible,” she wrote. “I am so grateful that I was able to meet so many wonderful people, and I am humbled by this experience. Thank you, again, for your support. It means so much!”

Cates’ Republican opponent, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, also posted a message on his Facebook page following the election.

“Certainly, it hurts to lose, but one of the great consolations in any race is the passionate support you get from so many people that share your values,” he wrote. “None of us expected such a big Democrat year this year. But the values I share with those who did so much for me and my campaign remain our values - and are worth standing for. Thank you so much.”

And just this week, he reached out to his Facebook fans to ask for their help. His post explains that a number of his campaign signs were destroyed or stolen prior to the election.

“The police have opened an investigation into these types of criminal activity and we are asking for your help,” McGlynn’s post states. “To establish that the destruction and stealing of these signs reaches the proper threshold, we are asking that anyone with any information or pictures, please” email him with details.

His post adds, “Any information we can gain that will prevent this type of destruction and harassment during campaigning for election of office will serve to help future candidates. We need to clean up this type of activity. When situations like this are ignored, they seem to get worse for the next election.”

Over in St. Clair County, Belleville attorney Ron Duebbert posted a rather lengthy thank you message to his “loyal supporters.” He lost his bid for a circuit judgeship to Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot, who did not have a Facebook campaign page.

“While I lost the election, I gained much knowledge and experience and huge numbers of very loyal supporters-- Republicans, Democrats and Independents-- who are all more than dissatisfied with the current status quo in St. Clair County and in the entire 20th Judicial Circuit, both of which are run by the Belleville Machine,” he wrote.

Duebbert added, “Folks, rest assured that I will again run for Circuit Judge, and I will have all of you current supporters to assist me from the beginning-- and we will go and recruit many more, you and I.”

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