John Walters won the Republican nomination for a residential judge's seat serving the 16th Judicial Circuit's second subcircuit in Elgin, according to unofficial results Tuesday.
With 2,838 votes, Walters defeated fellow Elgin resident John Hurlbut, who received 1,967 votes, for the party's nomination to a judicial post signed into law last September by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously appointed Walters to fill the newly created seat, where he handled bond call and traffic court in the Elgin branch, until this year's election.
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Walters said old-fashioned door knocking, as well as novel ideas like putting stickers on newspapers and running ads during commercial trailers helped him secure victory.
"I had a wonderful committee that came up with the wildest things," Walters said of his campaign strategy. "My buddy and I walked a lot on the weekends. When people can talk to you face-to-face and ask questions, I think that makes a lot of difference."
The GOP primary winner will face Democrat John Dalton, also of Elgin, in November for a six-year term. Walters said that race would come down to experience.
"There is no Republican law or Democratic law," Walters said. "I have over 33 years in general law and a year on the bench. I have been involved in some of the most serious crimes in the county, as well as small claims, juvenile, traffic and bond court. These are the things I have done."
Walters, who served for 22 years on the Elgin City Council before losing his re-election bid in 2009, has practiced law in the Elgin area for 33 years. His areas of practice include landlord/tenant, real estate and traffic law.