Name: Hon. Sarah D. Smith
Office seeking: Circuit Judge- 3rd Judicial Circuit vacancy left by Barbara Crowder
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City of residence: Edwardsville
Campaign website: sarahsmithforcircuitjudge.com
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running because I have a passion to serve my community as is demonstrated by my 23+ years of military service. Every day I see the struggles people in our community face when they walk into my courtroom and I believe my role as a public servant doesn’t end when I leave the courthouse. People should vote for me because I care about our community, that everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard and I am not afraid to stand up and do the hard, right thing.
What is your judicial philosophy? Judges should be fair and impartial. We aren’t allowed to “have a bad day” when we are on the bench. We are not legislators or policy makers, our duty is to apply the law to the facts before us.
If you were facing a Judicial Inquiry Board investigation, would you resign? Why or why not? No, because the initiation of a JIB investigation does not mean that you have violated any judicial ethical cannon, it is simply an investigation.
What types of cases would you hope to work on and why? I am open to working on any cases because I truly enjoy most every aspect of the law. However, throughout my legal career I have found criminal matters to be the most interesting and enjoy working on Post Conviction Petitions.
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’ve lived the last 23+ years abiding by Army values, my parents raised me with emphasis on honesty, integrity and the value of hard work. I take great pride in the faith my supporters and voters placed on me and if elected I would serve the public to the same standard I have served my country with dignity and honor.