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updated: 12/8/2017 4:11 PM

Kane judge, former public defender to enter circuit judge race

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David Kliment, a Kane County associate judge, says he will run for the at-large circuit judge seat that will be vacated by David Akemann's retirement.

Nominating petitions are due later this month; Kliment's entry means at least three people will be seeking the Republican nod for the seat in a March 20 primary.

"I'm a strong candidate because of my courtroom experience as an attorney and as a judge," said Kliment, who grew up in Hinsdale and has lived in St. Charles since 1985. "Our job is to be fair and impartial. That's what I try to do every day with every case."

Before being appointed an associate judge in January 2011, Kliment served as the public defender from December 1994 to December 2010.

Kliment said this is his first campaign for public office and he sees the circuit seat as the next step in his judicial career and community service.

Circuit judges have a larger leadership role, vote on appointments of associate judges, and help draft local judicial rules.

Kliment said he has presided over a range of cases before taking over a felony courtroom in 2015.

As public defender, he's presented 16 budgets to the county board, managed an office, and defended clients in trial.

"I believe I'm fair. I've heard it all before. I think I'm difficult to fool," Kliment said.

So far, a three-way race could be on the horizon for the March primary.

Elizabeth Flood, an associate judge since January 2013 and a former prosecutor, and Thomas Hartwell, who was elected circuit court clerk in 2012, have indicated they are running for the seat.

The general election is Nov. 6, 2018, but in the heavily Republican county, many consider the primary to be the de facto election. Akemann's resignation is effective Dec. 3, 2018.

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