Tom Kilbride wants to continue serving on the Illinois Supreme Court. Wednesday the justice from Rock Island officially launched his campaign for retention ahead of the vote in November by residents of Illinois' third judicial district.
He was first elected to the court as a Democrat in 2000, and won a non-partisan retention vote in 2010. And while serving as chief Justice from 2010 to 2013, focused on making Illinois courts more accessible.
"To bring cameras into the courtroom, to bring digital technology, to begin the initial steps to trying to get to e-filing in our courtrooms, and the Access to Justice Commission that opens the door of the courthouse for everyone regardless of their economic status."
Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker says Kilbride has integrity, common sense, and intelligence, and understands politics do not belong in the courtroom.
"While I may not always agree with the details of every decision Justice Kilbride makes, I know that with Tom on the bench everyone is treated fairly, regardless of their background."
Kilbride started his career during the 1980's farm crisis in the Quad Cities, doing legal aid work for laid off Deere, Case, I-H, and Caterpillar employees.
"Those were real people in the courtroom and I've never forgotten that, that real people are impacted in real ways by the court decisions of our court, and that we have to make sure fairness and balance in all respects."
Illinois' Third Judicial District includes 21 counties, from the Quad Cities and Macomb, across the state to Kankakee, Watseka, and the Indiana border.
For retention, he must receive at least 60 per cent of the vote.