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Article updated: 10/22/2013 11:20 AM

Geneva attorney announces bid for Kane County judge seat

By Harry Hitzeman

Another candidate has announced a run at the Kane County Circuit judge seat that will be vacated by Karen Simpson in October 2014.

Geneva attorney D.J. Tegeler will run as a Republican. He's touting his diverse legal experience and budgeting skills in owning his own law firm and serving as president of the Mill Creek Water Reclamation District.

Tegeler, who was admitted to the bar in 1990, said his legal experience goes beyond serving as a defense attorney.

"I have practiced in every courtroom in Kane County. There's not a case that I haven't done," he said. "I'm probably best known as a criminal defense attorney, but a good portion of my practice is divorce and family (law)."

Associate Judge Marmarie Kostelny, an Elgin Republican, also is running, meaning a primary election in March 2014 will be held to decide who gets the GOP nod to be on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot.

Circuit judges are elected; associate judges are appointed by circuit judges.

Tegeler said circuit judges help set policy and budgets and he has experience on both fronts. He said he had a role in writing the original requirements for people admitted to the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court and the county's Pretrial Diversion program.

As for budgeting, he has served as president of the water reclamation district and said he's helped cut administrative costs by one-third while keeping rates in check. He also cited his ability to listen and hear both sides of an argument.

"Sometimes, judges forget there are actually people in front of them instead of just cases," Tegeler said. "I think I'm the best candidate because of my well-rounded experience, my years of practicing law and my accountability to Kane County."

Kostelny, whose current assignment is overseeing the Kane County Drug Court, was appointed as an associate judge in 2006. She announced her candidacy last week.

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