Democratic candidates for Jackson County Circuit Judge - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Democratic candidates for Jackson County Circuit Judge

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JACKSON CO. -- On the ballot in Jackson County, an associate judge and a long time attorney, compete for the Democratic nomination for Resident Circuit Judge. News Three sat down with Christy Solverson and Brian Roberts. 

Whether you're watching TV, driving down the road, or scrolling through Facebook, you've probably seen campaign signs for Christy Solverson or Brian Roberts. Solverson and Roberts are both trying to seal the Democratic nomination for Jackson County Resident Circuit Judge. 

Solverson was appointed as associate judge back in 2005 and still sits at the bench. She believes the past 12 years in the courtroom has trained her for an administrative role like Circuit Judge. 

"Circuit judges are the leaders of the court system. They are the board of directors if you will. Circuit judges are tasked with implementing court rules, for making court policies for working with those other justice partners," said Solverson. 

In her 12 years as Associate Judge, she's presided over both jury and bench trials. Prior to taking the bench, she was a trial lawyer for 15 years and appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court twice. If elected, she wants the people of Jackson County to have open access to resources and make sure everyone who wants to be heard, is heard. 

"Everybody that comes into the courts, whether its a civil matter or a criminal matter, they need to be treated fairly and justly and know that system is going to work," said Solverson. 

Attorney Brian Roberts is also running for the seat. He's been a practicing lawyer all over Southern Illinois for 20 years and says if elected, he'd work to bring helpful programs he's seen in other county courtrooms home to Jackson County. 

"I hope by bringing in these programs we can address crime issues, we can address recidivism and we can get people on the right track," said Roberts. 

He says as judge, he'd be dedicated to helping families and victims of domestic violence. Another goal is to make sure the courts have the option to help qualified first time offenders in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment, which may allow them to avoid convictions that could follow them for the rest of their life. 

"I'm a big advocate of bringing programs to Jackson County that will allow the court both to protect the public's interest but also allow a wider range of sentencing options and things of that nature," said Roberts. 

Voters will decide the nominee March 20th. Whoever wins, will face attorney Steve Bost, the Republican nominee, in the general election in November.  

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