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updated: 2/14/2014 10:44 PM

Andrea M. Buford: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Democrat)

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Chicago


Office sought:

Cook County Circuit Court

Age: 58

Family: One son, Jason, divorced

Occupation: Judge

Education: IIT Chicago Kent College of Law, JD; Northwestern University, BS School of Speech; Aquinas Dominican High School and Holy Cross Elementary School

Civic involvement: I served as President of the Cook County Bar Association, immediate past president of the Cook County Bar Association Foundation; Economic Development Chair of the NAACP; I served on numerous committees and boards and held numerous offices. I have run a pro bono legal clinic; raised funds for scholarships to law students; served as a mentor; run a law day program introducing students to legal professions and planned a series of workshops on economic development issues. I am the recipient of numerous awards for my public service.

Elected offices held: n/a

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: n/a

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

I am running to retain my seat on the bench as a result of my belief that I can and do bring a sense of fairness and civility to the bench. I believe that the practice of law can be stressful for pro se litigants as well as for attorneys. My 27 years of appearing in front of various judges has crystalized my idea of a "good" judge and that is the judge I strive to be. I believe, win or lose, a litigant should go away from the bench knowing that I listened, heard their position and ruled with civility and fairness.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

I stand out from my opponents in the race for many reasons. I have more actual litigation experience as an attorney, 27 years. My bar ratings are better, I have been found highly qualified, qualified and/or recommended by all of the bar associations. I was also screened and vetted by a special committee of the Illinois Supreme Court which 98% of the other candidates did not have to do. I served as a Commissioner on the Illinois Court of Claims hearing matters filed against the State of Illinois ranging from multi- million dollar breach of fiduciary duty claims to breach of contract claims to personal injury matters. I have also served as Hearing Officer for the State Board of Education and the Department of Human Services. I served as a Special Assistant Attorney General, a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel and a Federal Foreclosure Commissioner. I also served as a Arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County from the inception of the program. I have also been sitting as a judge since May of last year and attended the new judges training session.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

You should know I strive to bring fairness and civility to the bench. I want people who appear in front of me to be able to express their positions without fearing the process. I want people to go away knowing I was fair and to have confidence in the process.

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