SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Q: How would you define the job as circuit judge?
Bennett: To run his or her courtroom with integrity, impartiality, sensitivity and proper judicial temperament. In an ISBA poll of fellow attorneys in the 4th Judicial Circuit, I rated 98.21% on integrity, 94.51% on impartiality, 96.37% on sensitivity and 96.43% on judicial temperament.
Friedel: The law is not a game to be played by lawyers. The judge’s role is to make sure that all parties are heard and the law is followed. It is the merit of a case, not who you are or your lawyer that should determine the rulings. We all want to be liked by our colleagues; lawyers and judges included, but judges need to remain independent and be willing to make rulings that don’t benefit the lawyers appearing before the Court. The law is to serve and protect the people and judges need to be committed to that purpose.
Q: Why are you running for Shelby County Circuit Judge?
Bennett: I believe my vast experience and legal abilities are right for the time. It will be a challenge replacing retiring Judge Michael P. Kiley; my promise to the people of Shelby County and the 4th Judicial Circuit is to do my best.
Friedel: I have gone to great lengths to get my name on the ballot to give the voters a meaningful choice for judge. I believe I have something valuable to offer Shelby County, my career. In 1992, the Shelby County voters elected a State’s Attorney judge and got in return a half of Judge Kiley’s career with 20 years of stability and service on the bench to the people of Shelby County. I have had a successful and fulfilling first half of my career as a prosecutor and I aspire to giving Shelby County the second half of my career on the bench.