Daily Union Managing Editor
Judy Cates, candidate for the Fifth District Appellate Court stopped in Shelbyville in her swing through the district.
The Fifth District includes 37 counties of which Shelby is one. Cates is one of two Democrats running for the position. The other is Jim Wexstten who also visited Shelby County a few weeks back. There are no Republicans running in this race. The decision will be made in the Feb. 5 primary election.
Cates, 55, is an attorney from Swansea with 30 years of nationwide trial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in virtually all areas of complex civil litigation. Her personal injury practice consists mostly of representing plaintiffs in claims related to medical negligence, nursing home litigations and other areas of healthcare litigation, product liability actions, class action litigation, consumer protection, commercial litigation and environmental law. Mrs. Cates also serves as a mediator for complex cases.
“The foundation of my candidacy will be built on my commitment to offer integrity, experience, fairness and impartiality to all the citizens of the 5th Appellate Court District,” said Cates.
A lifelong resident of Southern Illinois, Cates is married to Darrell, her husband of 32 years. They have three children.
Cates said this campaign is about integrity.
“My campaign is called ‘For the People’ and that is who it is for,” Cates said.
Cates has been recognized with several awards, including two Board of Governor’s Awards from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and a Woman of the Year Award from the Biographical Institute. Most recently she was named one of the Top Illinois Lawyers. She was president of the Trial Lawyers Association last year.
Throughout her career Cates has been involved in numerous charitable and community projects and currently is a member of the Belleville High School District #201 School Board.
Cates has closed her law office to concentrate on this election.
“I have made the commitment to close my office to win this race,” Cates said. “You can’t make a commitment to people in the district and tell them you will do the best you can and then be in a courtroom practicing everyday. It has been an enriching experience.”
During her long and distinguished career, Cates has worked and traveled the many roads of southern Illinois and is very familiar with the area representing the 5th Appellate Court District.
“I look forward to meeting and talking with the people of this large District. My campaign will be about inclusion and not exclusion. I’m confident that when the voters get to know me and the principles that I stand for and believe in, they will want to support my candidacy,” Cates said.
Cates said she is not seeking endorsements and will not accept money from the Trail Lawyers Association.
“I am the only candidate who believes that politics as usual and political influence have no place in judicial races or in the courtroom.”
You may learn more about Cates and her campaign at: votejudy4judge.com