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Villarreal and Bailey Announce State's Attorney Candidacies

Zach Wilson, WVIK News

Two new names have been added into the list of candidates for Rock Island County State's Attorney.

On Thursday, Interim State's Attorney Dora Villarreal announced her candidacy at a Rock Island union hall, while lawyer and former Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Bailey made her announcement at the Iconic Event and Reception Venue in downtown Rock Island.

Bailey, a Republican, says she has demonstrated her commitment to the community through the creation of the Children's Advocacy Center and a dedication to public safety. She says she wants to see some accountability to taxpayers in the State's Attorney's office.

"I would like to have an online public portal that people can anonymously comment on their interaction with the office whether they're a victim, a witness, or a juror. I'd also like to establish a veteran's court. I mean, we have a mental health court and a drug court, by law we can have a veteran's court so I don't know why we don't have one. They have unique circumstances and I think they deserve their own court."

Bailey says she would also not offer probation on firearm offenses as State's Attorney.

Villarreal, a Democrat, has been the Interim State's Attorney for nearly two months. She says that the position calls for someone to stand up to violent criminals.

"Some of the work that I've been doing in the criminal division is focusing on the prosecution of violent crimes, which is something that has been affecting all of us as you see in the daily paper or hear in the news. Gun violence, gangs, and car chases: these are my priorities and they should be all of yours."

Villarreal explained that she has directed resources towards drug court, mental health court and treatment facilities to help lighten the burden of county jails and courts. She says that drug addiction should be decriminalized. In addition, her policies would prioritize finding alternatives for juveniles and non-violent offenders. 

Thursday's announcements have increased the field to three candidates after current Assistant State's Attorney Calvin Dane announced his candidacy early last month.