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Judge Simpson to retire, Kostelny to seek election

Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 10:40 a.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – Kane County Circuit Court Judge Karen Simpson announced she will retire effective Oct. 6, 2014, a spokesman for the Illinois Supreme Court confirmed Wednesday.

Simpson, a Republican, is assigned to felony cases, according to the 16th Judicial Circuit website.

Associate Kane County Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny, currently assigned to the drug rehabilitation court, this week announced her intention to run for judge as a Republican in 2014. If elected, she would fill the vacancy left by Simpson.

“This allows me an opportunity to run in this election cycle,” Kostelny said. “I love being a judge.”

She said she does not know if she will have competition in the March 18 GOP primary. 

Associate judges are appointed by circuit judges while circuit judges are elected. Kostelny of Elgin was appointed an associate judge in 1997 after working as a lawyer for 20 years with an office in downtown Elgin.

Although her associate judge term is not yet completed, Kostelny said she wants to serve as an elected or circuit judge.

“We have merit selection for appointments and circuits [judges] are elected. It is still an election process with elected people appointing people,” Kostelny said, calling it “the best of both worlds.”

“There is really a different type of work you can do as a circuit judge that affects the administration of how the judicial circuit runs,” she said. “Being a circuit judge would just be a greater voice.”

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