Eleventh Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Bill Yoder will seek election for the resident circuit judge spot being vacated by Chief Judge Kevin Fitzgerald.
Yoder made the announcement Thursday afternoon at the McLean County Law and Justice Center in Bloomington. Fitzgerald will retire and not seek retention in November 2018.
Circuit court judge candidates run in partisan elections, while associate judges are appointed by fellow judges. Yoder, a Republican, said there are pros and cons to judges being elected or appointed.
"The public doesn't really know most of the judges they're voting for," Yoder said. "It's incumbent upon the judges to get out into the public, get to know the people, and let the people elect who they believe would be the best judge for that position."
Yoder, the former McLean County state’s attorney from 2002 to 2011, was appointed as an associate judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in 2011. Yoder said he will use his position in the court system to uphold the promises in the U.S. Constitution.
"Whether or not I like the outcome of a particular case or not, the ultimate job of a judge is to uphold the Constitution and protect that document so that this country can maintain its greatness," Yoder said.
Yoder, a Bloomington native, has presided over the Logan County Drug Court and currently presides over the McLean County Recovery (mental health) Court.
Candidates looking to fill Fitzgerald’s position must file their petitions between Dec. 18-26 to get on the March 20, 2018 primary ballot. The general election is Nov. 6.
That is the only expected judicial vacancy on the ballot. Judges Rebecca Foley and Paul Lawrence from the Eleventh Judicial Circuit face retention votes in November.
Yoder is engaged to McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis.
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