Wessel announces bid for judge in Eighth Judicial Circuit

By Gary Scott on November 9, 2017 at 10:42am

A lawyer out of Virginia is announcing his bid for judge in Illinois’ Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Attorney T.J. Wessel is kicking off his campaign to replace Judge Bob Hardwick, who recently announced his intentions to retire in December of 2018.

A native of Chandlerville, Wessel currently owns Wessel Law Office in Beardstown and serves as public defender in Cass County after being selected to that position by Judge Hardwick.

Wessel says he’s had aspirations of becoming a judge since the start of his law career.

“Judge Hardwick announced about a month ago that at the beginning of December 2018 he is going to retire, so that leaves open the resident circuit judge position here in Cass County. And becoming a judge, in all honesty, is something I’ve been aiming for my whole career,” says Wessel.

Wessel discusses his experience in the courtroom.

“When I came back to Cass County after graduating law school, I worked for a local office here in Cass County for two years and got a lot of experience. Then I went out on my own and started my own office, and since then I have also been the Assistant State’s Attorney in Mason County and just recently, this year, Judge Hardwick selected me to be public defender of Cass County when that position came open,” Wessel says.

He says that, during his career in law, he’s handled a variety of cases, which he believes makes him an ideal candidate for judge.

“If I become judge, I don’t think there’s going to be any cases that come in front of me that I haven’t already handled. I believe I’m the only candidate in this race who’s had experiences on both the prosecution and criminal defense side. The reality is, a circuit judge, the majority of what he does is criminal law, and I’ve handled jury trials on both the prosecution and defense side, I’ve handled murder cases, I’ve handled serious felony cases. So there’s not going to be any case that comes in front of me that I wouldn’t have at least some experience in,” Wessel explains.

Wessel is running as a Democrat in the 2018 primary election, which takes place in March. The general election is November 6th, 2018, with the new judge to be sworn in December 4th of next year.