A Republican candidate for circuit judge in the Third Judicial Circuit has received high marks in the Illinois State Bar Association's judicial advisory poll.
Circuit Judge Dave Dugan, appointed to a vacancy created when Judge John Barberis was elected to the Fifth District Appellate Court in 2016, seeks election to the seat he currently occupies.
And while Democrat candidates normally receive higher marks than their counterparts in the ISBA poll, Dugan, Republican, received a 96.53 rating in the category of "meets requirements of office" over Democrat attorney Marc Paker, who received a 82.73 rating in that category.
Since both candidates exceeded a 65 percent threshold on a question of meeting acceptable requirements for the office, both were recommended in the poll.
The poll is conducted by mail and is sent to all ISBA members in the circuit, though licensed attorneys who are not members of ISBA, or any attorney outside the circuit or district, may request a ballot. Only lawyers who who have sufficient knowledge about a candidate's qualifications are asked to give a "fair, informed opinion" of the person they evaluate.
Of his marks, Parker said he was pleased to have the recommendation of peers.
"They know me to be a tough, ethical advocate for my clients," he said in a statement. "As an attorney, my peers have rated me as AV Preeminent. That is the highest possible ranking an attorney can receive by Martindale-Hubbell.
"I've litigated cases across the nation for nearly a quarter century. I know what it takes to be a great judge-hard work, knowledge and fairness. I'm confident I can do the job and serve the citizens of the Third Judicial Circuit well."
In the race for the seat that will be vacated by Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder upon her retirement later this year, candidate evaluations held to a political norm that has been established since at least 2000.
Republican Mark Rabe was not recommended with a 27.08 rating in the category meets requirements of office, whereas Madison County Associate Judge Sarah Smith, Democrat, received a 94.84 rating in that category.
Rabe said he rejects conclusions of the "unscientific" poll because it is "nothing more than evidence that the Democrat attorneys who control the courthouses in Madison and Bond counties feel threatened" by his campaign.
He said his ratings are an attempt to "confuse the public" as to his qualifications. He also said that the majority of the 44 attorneys who evaluated him falsely claimed to be aware of his practice, which is "proof that the results of the poll are skewed toward the entrenched powers that be."
Rabe noted that when Barberis ran for circut judge in Madison County in 2014 and for the appellate court in 2016, he received a "virtually identical rating in 2014 and was still voted unqualified in 2016."
"His demonstrated competence in office is testimony to the invalidity of the ISBA’s popularity contest," Rabe stated.
Smith considered her results an honor.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming positive outcome of the advisory poll,” Smith stated. “The results of the poll come from data collected from the opinions and thoughts of attorneys practicing within the Third Judicial Circuit Court. To be viewed so highly by distinguished members of the legal community, who are familiar with my qualifications, is an honor. I look forward to being elected as the next Third Judicial Circuit Judge on November 6th where I will continue my career as an effective judge who proudly serves the people each day.”
Bond County State's Attorney Chris Bauer, Democrat, running for the resident Bond County seat that will be vacated when Circuit Judge John Knight retires later this year, is unopposed in the primary and general election. He was recommended in the ISBA poll with a 97.73 rating in meets requirements of office category.
|Third Judicial Circuit||Recommended/not recommended||Meets requirements of office||Integrity||Impartiality||Legal ability||Temperament||Court management||Health||Sensitivity|