Kenneth Wright, Democrat

Age: 47

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Kankakee High School (1991), Western Illinois University (1995) bachelor’s degree in philosophy; Northern Illinois University Law (1998)

Relevant experience: I have 20 years of practice in more than just criminal law, and my diverse cultural background would be an asset to the judicial system, bringing fresh experiences, ideas and modern perspectives serving as a role model for many in our community.

What makes you the best candidate?

The reason I’m running for Circuit Judge is to make sure that the fairness and due process afforded under the law is equally provided to all, regardless of political party, who you know, how much money you have, or where you’re from. With three vacancies and the important need to have more women on the bench I chose to run for the vacancy brought about by the retirement of Judge Clark Erickson. In these times of social unrest I believe a legal system that is inclusive and diverse can help achieve calm, infusing new ideas and confidence in the legal and justice system, as well as inspire those who feel that the only space made for them in the justice system is on the wrong side of the bench.

Bill Dickenson, Republican

Age: 55

Occupation: Associate Judge 21st Judicial Circuit

Education: Undergraduate degree in psychology from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.; and law degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

Relevant experience: I have been working as an associate Judge since 2018 where I hear traffic, criminal and civil cases. Before my appointment to the bench, I gained extensive courtroom and trial experience during my 27 years working as a Kankakee County Assistant State’s Attorney.

What makes you the best candidate?

I am the only candidate in the race who has judicial experience. I have demonstrated every day on the bench that I possess integrity, impartiality, legal ability, the appropriate temperament, strong court management skills, good health, and sensitivity to diversity and bias. Attorneys responding to an Illinois State Bar Association poll about me, overwhelmingly found that I possess those very qualities, and 100% found me to be qualified for the office of Circuit Judge. I have been rated as “recommended” by the ISBA poll.

I have worked in the Kankakee County Courthouse for 29 years, over 2 as an Associate Judge and 27 as a lawyer. During my time as a prosecutor, my vast experience served to provide invaluable insight into the skills necessary to be a good judge. My experience was recently recognized when I received the endorsement of all of the retired judges of the 21st Judicial Circuit.

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