And, we’re back…with a Public Event on February 28th

Hi Folks.  Over the past few months, I’ve been concentrating a bit more on my practice and A LOT more on the two boy’s basketball teams I coach.  With primary season heating up, my focus is again on the campaign and the election season in general.

I’ve been fortunate in that my primary is unopposed, meaning that the real heavy lifting for the campaign begins on March 21.  Still, I will be resuming appearances at local events and activities.  Before you know it, it will be parade season again!

First up on the schedule is a Judicial Forum hosted by the University of Illinois College of Law and the East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association.  At this event, the candidates for the Clem and Blockman vacancies will appear and answer questions from the public.   I encourage everyone to join us for the event.  See the image below for details:

The event is from 6-8 pm.  Feel free to submit questions.  I plan to stay afterwards to answer any 1-on-1 questions that might come up.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Upcoming events

I’ve been working on getting signatures for my petitions, meeting with constituents and placing campaign signs in conspicuous places.  My blog posting and event attendance has fallen off a bit, but that will pick up from this point forward.

Here are events I plan to attend during the next few weeks:

First, I will be joining members of the Macon County Democratic Party at their next monthly meeting, which is taking place on October 24, 2017 at Doherty’s Pub and Pins,  242 E William Street in Decatur.

The following Friday (November 3, 2017), I will be joining Moultrie County Democrats for a spaghetti supper in Sullivan.  It will be held at the American Legion Post 68, located at 8 E Strain St, Sullivan, IL 61951.  Here is a flyer for the event:

As you can see, there are some great folks planning to attend this event, including my friend Mike Frerichs, our State Treasurer.

Please consider attending one of these events if you are in the area and would like to hear more about my candidacy or would just like to enjoy a nice evening with good people.  Hope to see you there!

Main and Moultrie; Piatt and Pork

I’ve taken a break from posting, due to a brief lull in the campaign season (and a family member’s injury.  We had a great series of events in Urbana, Arthur and Arcola in early September, now it’s on to Monticello, Champaign, Sullivan and Clinton.

Here’s where to find me during the coming week:

Monticello

I will be at the Monticelebration, which will be held on the courthouse Square tomorrow, September 16 (Saturday), from noon to 3:00 pm.  Look for the Democratic booth, my campaign sign, and the tall guy in an Illini shirt.

Champaign

Saturday afternoon, I will be marching in support of the LGBTQ community in the 2017 CU Pride Parade on Saturday, Sep 16.  I will be there from about 3:30 to five with my Democratic friends (entry #21)

Sullivan

Wednesday, September 20th, I will be speaking at a meeting of the Moultrie County Democratic Party.  The meeting will take place at the Sullivan public library at 6:00 pm.

Clinton

I will be at Clinton’s Apple Pork Festival in DeWitt County NEXT Saturday, September 23rd.  Details to follow in a day or two.

Please come to one of these gatherings and talk with me about the campaign!

 

 

Tootsie Rolls

A fixture of parades is the frequent distribution of candy by the participants to those watching from the road side. My campaign is no exception, and we always hand out Tootsie Rolls as we walk the route.

With multiple parades on the horizon, it was time again to stock up on supplies.  The best place to buy Tootsie Rolls I have found is from the Country Salvage Shop, an out-of-the-way grocery operation south of Chesterfield in Douglas County.  Considering our next stop is the Arthur Amish Cheese Festival, the visit was timely.

I love this store, which is both “big” and “cozy” at the same time.  It has everything, including 99 cent bags of Tootsie Rolls sold in boxes of 24 bags each!  A great deal indeed.

After stocking up on supplies, I had lunch in Arthur at Yoder’s Kitchen, which is a wonderful buffet and gift store, like an Amish Cracker Barrel.  The town is clearly ready for the festival, and we look forward to joining the fun tomorrow afternoon.

I hope you will come to the event, ask me about my campaign, and enjoy a Tootsie Roll or two.

Monticello, Arthur, and Urbana Again

I will be speaking at this month’s meeting of the Piatt County Democratic Party on Wednesday, August 30th about my candidacy and about judicial elections generally. The meeting is at the Red Wheel Restaurant in Monticello (near Interstate 72) and it starts at 7:00 pm.

If you feel comfortable in Democratic gathering and are prepared to stay for the entire meeting, this is a good opportunity for folks in the Monticello area to ask me questions and learn about the election process. Again, the meeting is August 30th at 7:00 pm at the Red Wheel Restaurant in Monticello.

If that’s not your cup of tea, come talk with me at the Arthur Cheese Festival on Saturday September 2nd or after the Urbana’s Labor Day Parade on September 4th.

I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of people this week!

Sweetcorn & The Football Soundtrack of our Lives

We had a great evening at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival! I spoke with scores of voters and enjoyed three–count ’em, THREE–outstanding high school marching bands perform.

Each of the Urbana, Champaign Central and Champaign Centennial High School Marching Bands played for the attending masses, and came together for this Friday Night Lights Standard:

Afterwards, we enjoyed several ears of perfect summer sweet corn. No need for salt or extra butter. Delicious!

Thanks to Chris and Katie Leininger for wearing my “Beckett for Circuit Judge” campaign shirt to the event–I appreciate the visibility that comes from people who look better than me wearing my brand 😂.

Good Weather and Great Festival in Mahomet

The Sangamon River Festival is in full swing here in Mahomet; kids are enjoying the rides and funnel cakes while I’ve been enjoying talking with citizens about my campaign.  Met several of my friends here, including Matt Difanis, Shannon Summitt and Michelle Salfelder (pictured).

Headed back to Urbana now to meet up with the family and have some sweet corn 🌽.

Friday Night Lights; Saturday Music and Sweetcorn

Football season opens tonight, and I will be enjoying St. Joe-Ogden’s home opener against the St. Thomas More Sabers.

My brother Don is the line coach for St. Joe and my oldest is a Freshman at STM. Talk about divided loyalties!  I’ve sat in blistering cold for two Spartan state championship games, so I’m sitting on the Southside bleachers with the home team.   Here is the scene thirty minutes before kickoff:

Campaigning goes into high gear tomorrow.  I will be walking around downtown Mahomet early tomorrow afternoon, talking to voters at the Sangamon River Music Festival (before the music starts, of course).

By late afternoon and into the evening, I will be at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival.

Look for the guy in the Blue polo with the blue “Beckett For Circuit Judge 2018” and ask me about our court system.  See you there!

Judges from Douglas’s Past

Earlier today, I attended a routine hearing in the Douglas County Courthouse to close a Decedent’s estate. The hearing took place in Courtroom 2, the smaller of the building’s two courtrooms, which is usually reserved for the traveling associate judge or for visiting Circuit Judges. Today, it was a visiting Circuit Judge who held Court, addressing cases in which the presiding judge had a conflict of interest.

I enjoy appearing in Courtroom 2, mainly because this was the room in which I conducted my first hearing back in November, 1998, less than 2 weeks after being admitted to practice. That hearing was the approval of an interim accounting in a guardianship case.

The hearing was heard before the Honorable Art Powers, the then-traveling Associate Judge who heard cases in Douglas, Dewitt, Moultrie and Piatt Counties, one day a week for each.  I was very nervous in the moments that lead up to that hearing! Here is an excerpt the docket entry for the hearing I appeared for that day:

The Guardian ad Litem (which is what they call the attorney who acts as the “eyes and ears” of the Court in cases like this) who appeared that day with me was Tuscola attorney Michael G. Carroll. This was a prophetic first encounter, for less than 8 years later, I would find myself working again with Mike; first, during his brief tenure at Beckett & Webber in its new Tuscola office, and then for the next 8 years before Mike in his capacity as the elected Resident Circuit Judge of Douglas County. Talk about a coincidence!

While that first hearing introduced me to a future judge, it was pictures of former judges hanging on the wall that caught my interest:

These pictures display every county judge for Douglas County from 1859 to 1964. As I noted in my earlier post on the history of Illinois judges, 1964 was the year when the position of county judge was abolished, and when Illinois started the Circuit/Associate Judge system that continues to the present day.

I am always inspired by these photographs of past jurists, and their simple brief to handle whatever routine matters came before them in this rural county. Their efforts are now filled by another Judge, still traveling Circuit, still continuing a tradition in this county that began 158 years ago.

 

Greatest hits

For people who have made it to this blog but not my campaign website or my Facebook page, here is a link to the page full of articles I have written about running for Judge. These articles explain everything you would ever want to know about my campaign so far.

These articles (currently 4 of them) describe the position of circuit judge, my experience, and my judicial philosophy. I will continue to publish article from time to time.