Judge: Kibler leads DeLong

·2 min read

Jun. 29—With 28 of 38 precincts in the county reporting, Bryan M. Kibler was leading Jeffrey DeLong for the GOP nomination to serve as Effingham County Circuit Judge by 54-46 percent margin, according to unofficial results.

The winner is likely to fill the opening left by former Chief Judge and Resident Circuit Judge Kim Koester, who retired in 2020, since no Democrats ran in the primary.

Kibler, 42, of Effingham, was elected Effingham County State's Attorney in 2012 and is currently serving his third consecutive four-year term.

"As judge, I will be quick with the daily call and will have little tolerance for unnecessary delay and interruptions," Kibler said. "Too often daily court drags, affecting the work of law enforcement, clerks, and other personnel. As judge, I will work hard to ensure that court runs smoothly. Further, too many important matters are being taken "under advisement" now after hearings. When this happens, justice is delayed and often denied. To be effective, judgment needs to be swift and certain."

"I've proven that I can be fair to all sides, protect your constitutional rights (and) I feel like I've been trusted," Kibler said in an EDN March interview. "I've been elected three times by the people to serve as their state's attorney. I was born and raised here. My roots are here. You can trust me to be your resident circuit judge."

The Illinois Fourth Judicial Circuit includes the Illinois counties of Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Marion, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Shelby and Montgomery.

DeLong, 49, is currently serving as Associate Judge in the Illinois Fourth Circuit Court system appointed in 2019. DeLong and his wife, Stacie, chose to make Effingham their home in 2006 because they wanted to raise their family in a smaller community with good core values of faith and family, according to a press release. He is graduate of Michigan State University College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude.

"One of the best improvements to court efficiency has been converting to paperless courtrooms in civil cases. Working with the circuit clerk's office in Effingham, while assigned to the civil call, we transformed to a complete paperless courtroom," Judge DeLong said. "This saved the clerk's office valuable time from pulling and bringing files to court." Furthermore, it improves the speed which with cases are dealt with as all file materials are easily accessed electronically. This also enables me to manage the courtroom and come prepared by reviewing files ahead of time, starting court promptly and on schedule, as well as expecting and enforcing the same from the attorneys. All these procedures ultimately allow more cases to be scheduled daily, which reduces the amount of time litigants must wait to get their case before the court."

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300126.