Name: B. Marshall Hilmes
Office seeking: Circuit Judge 20th Judicial Circuit, Vacancy of Judge Jan V. Fiss
City of residence: Marissa
Campaign website: www.marshallhilmesforjudge.com
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I am running because I would like the voters to have a choice. I believe, as others have in the past, that there are more conservatives in the 20th Judicial Circuit than the political makeup of the bench reflects. I will treat everyone fairly. Upholding the Constitution and the rule of law is the most important responsibility of serving the people as Judge. Working at CASA to help children find safe and permanent homes taught me early in my legal career the importance and challenges in the legal system. As to nomination: I have the experience with IL law and IL courts to do the job properly. I have practiced IL law in over 12 counties in Illinois. I have purposely made career choices to help make myself the best choice for the job. I worked as an assistant state's attorney and worked a heavy case load, I worked with numerous attorneys, Judges, law enforcement and worked on a special task force involving federal agents, state police, local police, etc.. I started my own IL law practice to gain broad, diverse experience in the law. I am currently a municipal prosecutor, city attorney, arbitrator for the State of Illinois, and am a zoning hearing officer. My opponent first got licensed in IL in 2014. She ran for Senate and lost in 2014, she ran for House in 2016 and lost. Eleven months later she announced she wanted to be Judge. She has more political experience and I have more Illinois courtroom experience.
There is a voluntary drug testing program in place for St. Clair County judges. Would you, if elected, participate in the program? Why or why not? It's sad that it has come to Judges being drug tested. I will do drug testing, with non-partisan, safe guards, to avoid tampering and political influence. It's important to be held accountable and rebuild the trust that has been lost by some previous Judges and those entrusted to administer random drug tests.
The St. Clair County judiciary has been the source of some scandal in recent history. St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook, a Democrat, was convicted of heroin possession. St. Clair County Judge Ronald Duebbert, a Republican, currently faces sex and intimidation charges. What could you offer to the voters to ensure that you, if elected, would not bring more scrutiny to the bench? What I can offer voters is a two-party Judiciary that better reflects the political makeup of Southern Illinois. To pass scrutiny I stay away from temptation and am careful who I associate with. I don't drink alcohol but occasionally drink non-alcohol beer. I don't do drugs. We attend church regularly and am grateful for each church relationship in our lives. I have seen a lot of families and lives destroyed because of drugs, alcohol, greed, pride and compromise.
What talents would you bring to the bench if you are elected? I am even tempered, and am able to multitask. I have practiced on both sides of criminal and civil areas and understand first hand the role of prosecutor and defense attorney.
Where do you feel you could best help if you are elected? Major civil? Traffic? Felony? Miscellaneous remedies? Why? I could start in any area, as I have broad legal experience. I live in the center of the five county courthouses, for wherever there is a need.