We are moving closer to the Illinois primary in a little more than two weeks and over the last year we spent a lot of time interviewing several candidates running for president before the Iowa Caucuses.
You can still find those conversations online at OurQuadCities.com/4TheRecord
to help you make up your mind if you’re voting in Illinois.
One hotly contested race on the March 17 ballot is local.
That’s the primary battle to be the Democratic nominee for Rock Island County State’s Attorney, featuring current State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal, along with challengers Herb Schultz, Ronald Stradt and Calvin Dane.
On this week’s 4 The Record, we focused on the first two.
Dora Villarreal graduated from Alleman High School, has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in business administration.
Villarreal earned her law degree from Hamline University in Minnesota.
She spent most of her career as an attorney with private law firms locally and as a public defender in Rock Island County.
There’s a good reason a lot of you know her name: She is the current Rock Island County State’s Attorney, a job she was appointed to last July when former State’s Attorney John McGehee became a circuit court judge.
One of her challengers is Herb Schultz.
Schultz is a Rock Island High School alum, got his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Iowa and earned his law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School.
Schultz started his legal career more than 32 years ago as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the prosecutors office and pushes his experience of trying more than a thousand felony cases in court.
Schultz currently runs his own law firm in Rock Island specializing in criminal defense cases and family law.
Whoever wins the Democratic primary will face Kathleen Bailey, a Republican running unopposed for state’s attorney.
We will spend this week and next week introducing you to the Democratic Party candidates to help you make a decision in the primary.
Schultz is the only Democrat in this race to be disciplined.
Almost 11 years ago, he had his license suspended for a month for misconduct, specifically lying to a client for 12 years in a worker’s comp case.
Schultz addressed why voters should overlook that, why he feels the need to challenge Villarreal and what makes him more qualified.
As for Villarreal, she discussed why she thinks she has so many challengers, what she says to critics who say she’s been the chosen one in a case of political favoritism by the Democratic machine, and how she is more qualified than the other candidates? with less prosecutorial experience.
Villareal and Schultz both talked about their biggest priorities if they get the job what they see as the things the prosecutor’s office needs most and how they accomplish that.
Grand juries vs. preliminary hearings
One area where Schultz and Villarreal disagree with each other involves the use of grand juries versus preliminary hearings in the early stages of prosecutions.
Grand jury hearings are private and tend to give a big advantage for prosecutors seeking an indictment to charge someone with a crime.
Preliminary hearings are open to the public and evidence is presented to a judge who determines whether it’s sufficient to hold a suspect over for trial.
Both established their stance and why they prefer that option
Watch the video above for the full conversation.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.