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ILLINOIS ELECTION NEWS
This November there are two seats on the 5th District Appellate Court that are being hotly contested by both parties. Hon. John B. Barberis, Jr. (R) and Hon. Brad K. Bleyer (D) are both vying for the seat of retiring Justice Bruce D. Stewart (D) on the 5th Dist. Appellate Court. Hon. James “Randy” Moore (R) and Hon. Jo Beth Weber (D) are both vying for the seat left vacant last year by retiring Justice James Wexstten (D). The 5th District Appellate Court, which covers Southern Illinois, currently has a 5-2 Democrat majority. Here’s a little history on each candidate:
Judge John B. Barberis, Jr. (R) is currently serving a six-year term as a judge of the Third Judicial Circuit (Madison County, IL) until 12/6/2020. Prior to being a judge he worked in private practice as an attorney. He also previously served as a city attorney for Collinsville, Ill., as a corporate attorney for Gateway Center and as a village zoning officer for the Village of St. Jacob. Both Collinsville and St. Jacob are in Madison County, IL.
Judge Brad K. Bleyer (D) is currently serving his second term until December 2018 as a judge in the First Circuit of Illinois. He was an attorney in private practice from 1982 until his appointment to bench in 2004. He was retained in 2012 and his current term expires in December 2018. He’s a 59 year old native of Carterville, Williamson County, Illinois. Interestingly, former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rarick (who retired in 2004) and former federal Judge Pat Murphy are serving as co-chairmen of his campaign.
Justice James R. “Randy” Moore (R) is 63 years old and is a southern Illinois native. He was an Assistant City Attorney in Carbondale, Jackson County, IL and practiced law in Carterville, Williamson County, IL for 28 years as a sole practitioner. He was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier in February 2007, subsequently elected in 2008 and most recently retained in 2014 as a Circuit Judge for nine counties in southern Illinois for the Frist Judicial Circuit. He was assigned by the 5th District Appellate Court as of January 2015 and is currently seeking election to retain that position. He currently has eight children and 12 grandchildren.
Judge Jo Beth Weber (D) is currently a judge on the Second Judicial Circuit Court and a resident judge in Jefferson County, Illinois. She originally began her legal career in the Office of the State Appellate Prosecutor and later became associate general counsel for Southern Illinois University. She then served as deputy defender of the Fifth District State Appellate Defender’s Office and was subsequently elected (unopposed) to that position in 2012 with her current term set to expire in December 2018.
If the Republicans are able to capture these two seats in the 5th District, which reviews all appeals coming out of Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois, it appears they could significantly change the complexion of the court.