Marmarie Kostelny: Candidate Profile

Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit (Republican)

  • Marmarie Kostelny, running for Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit

    Marmarie Kostelny, running for Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit

Updated 2/14/2014 10:43 PM

Back to Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit



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: Elgin


Office sought:

Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit

Age: 53

Family: Single Adoptive Mother of 2

Occupation: Associate Judge

Education: 1978 Elgin High School

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1982 B.A. History Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

1985 J.D. DePaul University- College of Law

Civic involvement: Vestry (Board) Church of the Redeemer-Served two terms

Prairie State Legal Services - Board of Directors

Adjunct Professor- Elgin Community College- Paralegal Studies Program

Elected offices held: none

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

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 for this office because I have experience to bring to the role of Circuit Judge. I can take the things I have learned as an associate judge and put them into practice as a Circuit Judge.

I am motivated to be a good judge. I aspire to be like the great judges I have learned from. I seek to continue to bring justice and fairness to Kane County. I had an early insight into the judiciary. As a law student, I was selected to be a legal research assistant to the judges of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kane County. Instead of just reading about it, I saw judges doing their jobs. I saw how dedicated judges applied current law to the facts of each case. I also learned how other judges allowed personal bias or an unwillingness to study the law affect their decisions. One respected judge I served taught me this valuable lesson that is my daily motivation:


Be beholden to no person, but fair to all persons.

From the perspective of an attorney, I saw judges who were fair and committed to justice. I represented municipalities, library districts, park districts, and individual clients with diverse legal needs. I served as a city prosecutor in McHenry County for over ten years. In 1991, I became a partner at Zimmerman, Smith & Kostelny. As a small business owner I experienced both the challenges and rewards of running a successful small business. These experiences taught me to be a good advocate, and to resolve disputes. But the compassion and sense of fairness a good judge must employ requires much more. I am motivated to use my experience as an associate judge in connection with new responsibilities as a Circuit Judge.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

The primary distinguishing factor between my opponent and I is that I am a judge with seven years of experience on the bench and a proven track record. Many retired judges and distinguished attorneys who have had the opportunity to observe me as an associate judge have offered their endorsements.

In 2006, I was appointed an associate judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit. Since my appointment to the bench, I have served in a number of assignments. Initially, I was assigned to Traffic/Misdemeanor Court. I served in the Family Court for three years. In January 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed me to the Special Supreme Court Committee on Child Custody Issues. I continue to serve on this committee to develop, recommend and implement procedures to streamline the resolution of custody and related issues. For the past three years, I have been assigned to the Criminal Felony Division. Currently, I am also the presiding judge for the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court.

I have served on the Judiciary in Kane County for more than seven years as well as serving my community for many years as an attorney in private practice and as a prosecutor. I have worked on both sides of the bench and both sides of the aisle. I have learned that not every good lawyer can be a good judge. I am seeking the Republican nomination for Circuit Judge because I am a good judge. I will bring to the position of Circuit Judge a level of experience that my opponent simply cannot.

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

I have had a variety of life experiences. I have had to face challenges and overcome obstacles. Due to my father's death when I was in high school and my need to pay for my education on my own, I learned the value of hard work and persistence. Through my own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, I learned the value of trust and compassion. As a mother of two adopted children who are now adults, and as the caregiver for my elderly mother, I have learned patience, respect and what matters in life. I feel you should know that these experiences give me a much broader perspective of the challenges and experiences those who appear before me face.

I was a prosecutor and a defense attorney. I was a small business owner. I worked for and learned from many experienced judges. I am a parent, a teacher, a cancer survivor, and a judge.