Madison County Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs has announced he will seek election to the circuit court seat vacated earlier this month by Judge Andreas Matoesian.
In the 2020 general election, Stobbs, 51, of Godfrey will run as a Republican for an “at-large” circuit position, meaning his name will appear on the ballot in both Madison and Bond counties.
Matoesian, 81, a Democrat, had been the longest-serving judge in the state until his retirement on July 1. He first served as a magistrate judge in 1965, then served continuously from associate judge to elected circuit judge in 1980. He was most recently retained in 2016.
For the past six years, Stobbs has presided over Madison County's asbestos docket - the nation's busiest. He has been an associate judge since 2006, also having handled traffic, criminal misdemeanors, foreclosure, probate, chancery, juvenile abuse and neglect and domestic litigation, where he served a term as presiding judge of that division.
According to a press release announcing his bid, Stobbs has presided over numerous jury trials and non-jury trials including those involving complex toxic tort cases.
The announcement also states that Stobbs received a 97 percent approval rating in the Illinois State Bar Association survey, which asks local attorneys to rate judges they practice before.
Prior to his appointment, Stobbs served as a Republican member of the Madison County Board representing Godfrey for eight years, having been elected three times. Among other committee assignments, Stobbs served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
“From my first election to the county board in 1998 I have served the people of Madison County and the Third Judicial Circuit for over twenty years” Stobbs said in the release. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the people of Madison and Bond counties as an elected Circuit Judge.”
Stobbs was first licensed to practice law in 1994 following his graduation, with honors, from the Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He received his undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University.
From 1994 until his appointment as an associate judge, Stobbs maintained a general law practice with his father, the late John Dale Stobbs, at Stobbs & Sinclair, Ltd. in Alton. John Dale Stobbs passed away in 2016 having practiced law in Alton for more than 50 years.
"Although I have been in the legal profession for the past 25 years, the practice of law has been the family business my entire life," Stobbs said in the release. "From my time in my family’s Alton law practice through my 13 years on the bench I bring a record of proven experience and integrity to this race. I look forward to a great campaign in 2020 and to continue serving the people of the Third Judicial Circuit as a circuit judge.”
Stobbs and his wife, Katie, have four children. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, a past board member of the Alton Boys and Girls Club and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton,