Madison County Associate Judge Sarah Smith announced Wednesday that she will run for the open circuit judge seat created by Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder’s retirement when her term ends in December 2018.
“I have seen what an impact we, as judges, can have on the lives of those in our community, even as associate Judge. As a Circuit Judge, I will actively participate in community outreach programs that educate our youth and strive to continue helping all the people of Madison and Bond County,” Smith stated in a press release.
Friends of Sarah Smith, a committee supporting her campaign, was formed July 17 by chairman Ron Foster of Walton Telken.
No contributions have been recorded yet.
Smith was appointed an associate judge in 2015. She presides over the child support accountability court and oversees the domestic violence accountability court, as well as divorce cases and other family matters.
Smith is a lieutenant colonel with the Army National Guard, the highest-ranking JAG officer in Illinois, and was recently selected to serve as the state's first Military Judge for the Illinois Army National Guard.
Smith is currently an active member of the Illinois Army National Guard and has more than 22 years of military service. She began working as a light wheeled vehicle and power generator mechanic and used the GI Bill to pay for undergraduate and law school.
She received her bachelor’s degree in political science at Millikin University, a master’s degree in public policy and her juris doctorate at Regent University.
In 2007, Smith was deployed to Kosovo as chief of operational and administrative Law for the 35th Infantry Division and to Afghanistan as a deputy staff judge advocate for the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. She also volunteered as a base firefighter and was selected to mentor the only female General in the Afghan National Army.
Before taking the bench, Smith worked at Ezra & Associates for more than 10 years, focusing on plaintiff’s civil litigation.
She is also a former assistant state’s attorney, where she handled a variety of cases, ranging from traffic and misdemeanor cases to felony money laundering cases, post-convictions and drug asset forfeitures.
She was also the assigned prosecutor for the Madison County Veteran’s Treatment Court.
As an associate Judge, Smith has tried bench trials and prosecuted sexual assault and other complex cases.
“I will work tirelessly for the residents of Madison and Bond County. I want to serve the public because I care. I firmly believe that I must keep their best interests at heart at all times,” Smith stated.
Smith was also awarded a Humanitarian Service Award for her efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.
Crowder has not yet been reached for comment.