Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

October 30, 2012

Parker, Hoffeditz run for state’s attorney seat

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

NEWTON — The race for Jasper County state’s attorney is between Republican incumbent Kevin S. Parker and Democrat William R. “Bill” Hoffeditz. The race for coroner is contested between Republican Jason Frederic Meyer and Democrat Daniel L. Alzate Sr. The race for circuit clerk is between Republican Jamie l. Blake and Democrat Travis Lingafelter. All county board seats are contested.

    

    Name: Kevin S. Parker

    Party: Republican

    Age: 53

    Family: I am married to Becky Parker (Pulliam). Becky teaches at the Effingham Junior High School and works part-time at the Newton IGA. Becky and I reside in Newton together with my daughter, Delaney, and Becky’s son, Zach Dust. Delaney is a senior at Newton High School while Zach is in the fifth grade at Effingham St. Anthony Grade School. My oldest daughter, Meghan Rewers, lives in Effingham, where she works at Heartland Human Services as an outpatient therapist.

    Incumbent: Yes

    Educational Background: I graduated from Effingham High School 1977. I then attended college at Miami University of Ohio, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Spanish. I earned my Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1984.

    Occupation: Taylor Law Offices, P.C. in 1998, Effingham County state’s attorney in 1991, Jasper County resident circuit judge in 2005, Jasper County state’s attorney since 2008.

    Memberships: St. Thomas Catholic Church; Knights of Columbus, Council 1704, officer; Knights of Columbus, Assembly 1554, officer; Jasper County Chamber of Commerce, vice chairman; Newton Rotary Club; Sunrise Community Center, trustee; Ste. Marie Foundation Board member; Sons of the American Legion, Ste. Marie Squadron 0932

    What qualifies you for this position?: Qualifying me to remain state’s attorney is my 28 years of legal experience, which includes 12 years as an elected state’s attorney and as the resident circuit judge for Jasper County, as appointed by Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier. My legal experience has provided me with the unique opportunity to see the criminal justice system at work from both sides of the bench and has instilled in me a clear sense of Jasper County’s notion of justice and fairness expected from its citizens. As chief law enforcement officer for the county, I have a demonstrated record of close cooperation with law enforcement, crime victims, including local merchants, the Department of Children and Family Services and school authorities. As legal adviser to the county, I have provided prompt and competent legal counsel to an array of government bodies including county boards, 911 boards, health departments and ambulance departments, as well as to all elected county officials.

    What are two things you would like to accomplish if elected?: I am proud of the accomplishments made in my first term as Jasper County state’s attorney. In particular, I believe I have improved communication with law enforcement, government officials from all units of local government and I have given much time and attention to my responsibility as chief legal counsel to the Jasper County Board and all county officials. In my next term, I look forward to continuing the progress made in my first term and humbly seek that privilege and opportunity once again from the people of Jasper County.

    

    Name: William R. “Bill” Hoffeditz

    Party: Democratic

    Age: 56

    Family:     Shirley Hoffeditz, wife. Two adult children: William L. Hoffeditz, 25, graduate student in chemistry at Northwestern University and Sarah Hoffeditz, 22, taking a year to explore more of the world after college graduation.

    Incumbent: No.

    Education: Southern Illinois University, B.A. (Economics) in 1979 and J.D. in 1982.

    Occupation: At present, I am engaged in the private practice of law at Hoffeditz Law Office, 103 E. Morgan St., Newton. I also serve as Jasper County public defender.

    Political Background: I served two prior terms as Jasper County state’s attorney: 1992-1996 and 2004-2008, each time elected as a Democrat.

    Memberships:    Newton Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus Council 1704; Sons of the American Legion, Squad 20 in Newton; Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Illinois Newton Lodge 216.  Professional memberships include the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Public Defenders Association.

    What qualifies you for this position?: I have personally tried more than a hundred cases to jury. I am responsible for hundreds of convicted felons being sentenced to prison. No criminal prosecution during my terms in office was ever delayed by indecision, lack of preparation or misunderstanding of the law. Moreover, I know more than just the law and how to administer justice. I know the people of Jasper County. I was the first state’s attorney to set regular hours for people to walk in without an appointment and speak with the state’s attorney. Politicians may do a lot of talking, but public servants listen. That is one thing I will never forget.

    What are two things you would like to accomplish if elected? First, I will end the local criminal drug trade in opiates like heroin and synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone. I know that sounds like an impossible boast, but between 2006 and 2008, with the help of local law enforcement, while I was state’s attorney, methamphetamine trade and manufacture came practically to a halt for over 17 months. Now, new kinds of drugs are ripping apart families. We can and must stop the spread of heroin into Jasper County and I am the right prosecutor for the job. Second, I will use my experience as an administrator to not only make the office of state’s attorney run with better service and less expense, but I will make the entire court system more efficient. I will work with other elected officials to assure the citizens of Jasper County best access and best services of their government. Most importantly, the state’s attorney’s office will never close during regular courthouse hours no matter what budgetary problems may occur.

    Jackson Adams may be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 131 or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.