Attorney Katherine Ruocco of Swansea is seeking the Republican nomination for a judicial vacancy being created by St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss, who is retiring next year.
Ruocco announced her candidacy for the at-large seat within days of an announcement made by attorney Marshall Hilmes of Marissa who also plans on seeking election as a Republican to the Fiss vacancy at the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.
The two will square off in the March 20 primary by voters in the circuit in St. Clair, Monroe, Perry, Randolph and Washington counties. The winner will go on to likely face Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf who is seeking election to the Fiss seat on the Democratic ticket.
Ruocco has experience in political campaigning, having run a close race against State Sen. James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis) in 2014, falling short by approximately 2,000 votes, a 3.6 percent margin.
Having worked in the legal and financial industries for nearly 30 years, Ruocco, 50, has been a practicing attorney since 2003, according to a press release announcing her candidacy.
She served as a Swansea trustee from 2013 through earlier this year.
Ruocco stated that she recognizes "many challenges facing the Twentieth Judicial Circuit," including emphasizing the need to "increase transparency, build the public trust, and foster productive and meaningful community dialogue," the release states.
"Ruocco believes that her education and diverse work experiences make her uniquely qualified to serve effectively as Circuit Judge."
According to a financial disclosure report at the Illinois State Board of Elections, Ruocco last month put up more than $65,000 of her own money into her judicial campaign.
Her legal background includes work as an attorney for Edward Jones Trust Co. She also practice law in the St. Louis metropolitan area at Ruocco Law Office. She is licensed to practice in Illinois and Missouri.