Edwardsville attorney Amy Gabriel of prominent asbestos firm Gori Julian & Associates announced Thursday her candidacy for Madison County Circuit Clerk on the Democratic ticket in the November 2020 election.
“I have practiced law for almost twenty years in both the civil and criminal courtrooms of the Madison County Courthouse,” Gabriel stated in a press release. “I will use this knowledge and experience of the law and court procedures to ensure the Circuit Clerk’s Office maintains a positive image in our community. I will listen to the experiences of Madison County residents using the Circuit Clerk’s Office and take those suggestions to implement improvements when possible as well as continue the progress Mark Von Nida has completed over his tenure as Circuit Clerk.”
Von Nida announced in May that he will not seek reelection. He was first elected circuit clerk in 2012.
“I was elected chairman of the Democratic Party in 2016 and will be devoting all of my time to getting Democrats elected to office in Illinois,” he previously stated.
While no one has yet announced their candidacy for circuit clerk on the Republican ticket, Madison County GOP chair Jeremy Plank said, “We have people who are considering running for various offices county-wide including Circuit Clerk. Our hope is to have a full slate of candidates in 2020.”
Gabriel currently works as an associate at Gori Julian, which is one of the top filers of asbestos lawsuits in the country.
Most of the firm’s asbestos cases are filed in Madison County, which houses the nation’s largest asbestos docket. However, the firm has recently favored venue in St. Clair County Circuit Court for asbestos litigation.
Gori Julian co-founder and former partner Barry Julian was recently appointed associate judge to fill the vacancy left open when Sarah Smith was elected circuit judge. He was sworn into his new role on Feb. 8.
Gabriel's campaign manager Sheila Voss said Gabriel's current and former employment would not affect her role as circuit clerk if elected, as she would work "for everyone who works in [the courthouse] and everyone who steps foot in it."
"She's going in there eyes wide open for the job itself … with the objectivity and professionalism that's needed to get the job done and get it done right."
Gabriel said the Circuit Clerk’s Office has a responsibility to serve everyone fairly and equally.
“The cases handled daily in the Madison County courtrooms provide the foundation of law and order in our community,” she stated. “The Circuit Clerk has the responsibility of managing the court dockets in an efficient, cost-effective manner, while also maintaining a people-friendly environment in which the courthouse can thrive. I would be honored to serve our community as Madison County’s Circuit Clerk.”
Gabriel was hired by Senator Bill Haine in 2002, where she worked as a prosecutor at the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office. She became Chief of the Children’s Justice Division under current State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons in 2013.
During her time at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Gabriel focused her work on seeking justice for abused or neglected children.
“As a prosecutor of child abuse cases, I had the privilege to work with our local law enforcement and family services to reach common goals of removing dangerous perpetrators from our community while providing hope and healing solutions to these children and their families,” she stated. “Seeking solutions using this type of collaborative work approach will be my frame work when running the business of the Madison County Courthouse as Circuit Clerk.”
Gabriel left the State’s Attorney’s Office in 2015 for the Gori Julian firm.
Gabriel graduated from Edwardsville High School before going on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Illinois. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1999.
She is a member of the Madison County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. She is licensed to practice in both Illinois and Missouri.
Gabriel has served on the Madison County Child Advocacy Center Advisory Board and Friends Board for the past 10 years. She was also elected a Glen Carbon Library Board Trustee in 2013, where she served for six years.
Gabriel currently resides in Glen Carbon with her two daughters.