Republican Bryan Kibler came close to unseating a two-term incumbent state's attorney in the 2008 general election.
This year, Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters has opted not to run for a fourth term. But Kibler doesn't have a free ride into the state's attorney's office.
That's because attorney Deborah Niebrugge Reimers has thrown her hat into the ring as the Democratic candidate.
While Reimers and Kibler have been practicing law for about the same amount of time, Reimers began law school at age 42 after many years in health care administration. Kibler, on the other hand, was still in his 20s when he challenged Deters in 2008.
The state's attorney has a two-fold role: to prosecute criminal activity in the county, as well as advise the Effingham County Board on legal issues.
Reimers lives in rural Effingham, while Kibler lives in Effingham.
With three years legal experience, Effingham attorney Bryan Kibler nearly unseated two-term State's Attorney Ed Deters in the 2008 general election, losing by only 260 votes out of more than 16,000 cast.
Four years later, Deters isn't running for a fourth term and Kibler says he is easily the most qualified candidate in this year's race.
"I am the only candidate with jury trial experience," Kibler said. "In fact, I am the only candidate with a specialization in criminal law.
"My opponent (Deborah Niebrugge Reimers) used to refer criminal cases to me when we were sharing office space," he said. "I have tried everything from Class X felonies to DUI's.
"I have made almost daily appearances in the criminal courtroom."
Kibler, 32, said the most important issues are keeping the community safe; combating the use of illegal drugs, especially heroin; and providing adequate resources for juvenile cases.
Kibler said he has some ideas on how to reduce the juvenile caseload in the state's attorney's office.
"I would like to increase the use of diversion programs for juveniles," he said.
But it's not only juveniles that Kibler would like to see diversionary programs for.
"I would like to initiate diversionary programs for military veterans who get in trouble," he said.
Kibler said he would also like to beef up the relationship between the state's attorney's and the people working in his office.
"I would like to provide more direction and communication between the state's attorney and the office," he said.
Kibler received a bachelor's degree in political science from Northern Illinois University and his law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.
In addition to maintaining a private practice in Effingham, Kibler has also served as the lead public defender in Jasper County and a conflict public defender in Jasper and Effingham counties.
Kibler is a member of the National Rifle Association, Effingham Sportsman's Club, Effingham Lions Club and is a licensed Illinois High School Association footbal official.
Kibler and wife Jennifer have two children and live in Effingham.