Candidate profile: David Dugan

Name: David W. Dugan

Office seeking: Circuit Judge Madison County

Party: Republican

Age: 58

City of residence: Bethalto

Campaign website: www.electjudgedugan.com

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? Judicial elections are far too important to be decided on politics or the number of yard signs a candidate places along our roads and in our neighborhoods. As the only Republican Circuit Judge in Madison County, I have come to learn that Judges should be independent of the political interests of those who wish to influence the Courts and should be elected on the basis of their qualifications and performance.

In February 2017, I became a Madison County Circuit Judge after undergoing interviews, qualification assessments and vetting by a non-partisan committee appointed by Chief Justice Karmeier. Following nomination by the Chief Justice, I was appointed to my current position with the unanimous consent of the members of the Illinois Supreme Court. I am running in the November election to keep my seat on the Bench.

My performance was assessed by a confidential poll conducted by the Illinois Bar Association of attorneys who have known me as lawyer or who have appeared before me since I have become a judge. I scored the highest in integrity, impartiality, temperament, legal ability, and suitability. In each category polled, I received A+ ratings. My scores and the scores of all judicial candidates are available at ISBA.org.

What is your judicial philosophy? I believe that judges must be independent and free from the influences of politics and special interest organizations. Judges must employ their legal judgment and not their personal will when called upon to decide cases or interpret the law. Judges must interpret the Constitution and statutes as they have been written, informed by history and precedent.

If you were facing a Judicial Inquiry Board investigation, would you resign? Why or why not? If I as a judge knowingly and intentionally committed an ethics violation so serious that removal from my position would be appropriate, then I would indeed resign that position.

What types of cases would you hope to work on and why? As a Circuit Judge, I currently manage several civil case dockets involving arbitrations and trials of all amounts. I anticipate that following the election, I will continue handling similar matters.

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, faced sex and intimidation charges, but those were dismissed. What could you offer to the voters to ensure that you, if elected, would not bring more scrutiny to the bench? I have not in my 32 year legal career engaged in conduct of the kind that would bring scrutiny to me or my position, nor do I have reason to believe that my conduct in the future would substantially change.