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Associate judge, attorney vie for circuit judge seat

A repeat candidate is up against a current associate judge in the Republican primary for a Kane County Circuit Court judge seat.

Geneva attorney D.J. Tegeler is once again running for judge after a 2010 attempt, joined by Associate Kane County Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny of Elgin.

Both Tegeler, 50, and Kostelny, 53, said their individual court experience and work histories make them the ideal candidate for the seat. Kostelny, who currently presides over the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court, was appointed an associate judge in 2006. Before that, she owned a small law firm and worked as an attorney in Elgin for 20 years.

“I’ve done the civil side, the criminal side. ... I think I’ve been tested and proved as a judge over the past seven years,” Kostelny said.

Kostelny also pointed to strong referrals from the Illinois State and Kane County bar associations.

Kostelny received ratings of over 90 percent or more in all eight categories of the state bar association’s Judicial Advisory Poll, beating out Tegeler in every category.

The Kane County Bar Association’s judicial evaluation committee gave Kostelny a highly recommended rating and Tegeler received a recommended rating.

Tegeler notes that the state’s poll only received about 110 responses after distributing 1,200 ballots. He said he puts more stock on the Kane County Bar’s evaluation.

Tegeler thinks he could serve the public well as a judge with his experience owning a law firm and time serving as a Blackberry Township precinct committeeman.

He also has been an attorney in more than 200 jury trials.

“I have a reputation for knowing the newest case law and statutes,” Tegeler said. “It’s that work ethic along with everything else I’ve done over the past 25 years that sets me apart.”

The winner of the election will fill the vacancy left by Judge Karen Simpson, who plans to retire Oct. 6.

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