Dalton tops Walters for Kane judgeship
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News November 7, 2012 12:30AM
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:29AM
ELGIN — Democrat John Dalton held victorious Tuesday night over John Walters for Kane County Circuit Court Judge of the Second Subcircuit by a 14,813 - 12,813 tally.
With all 71 precincts reporting, Dalton had 53.6 percent of the vote to 46.4 percent for Walters.
“We won,” Dalton succinctly posted to his campaign Facebook page sometime shortly before midnight.
Dalton, is an attorney and an Elgin Community College trustee. Walters, a former Elgin City Council member, is a sitting Kane County judge who was appointed to the bench to fill a vacancy last year. The two Elgin residents vied for the seat in a hotly contested race.
Earlier in the evening and prior to the outcome being a done deal, Dalton said. “All I can say is ‘Thank you.’ Thank you to all the voters who voted for me, thank you to all of the many people who volunteered or assisted the campaign in some way. To all of the people who generously helped me — I had a dream I don’t know if that has been attained, but I do know I also have a debt. A debt that I will likely spend the rest of my life trying to repay.”
Walters said he was proud of his campaign.
“I am proud of the campaign that we have run and I am grateful to my family and my friends for their amazing support. It was great meeting so many wonderful people through my walks in the communities,” Walters said.
Dalton will have to resign his seat on the ECC board. Dalton made a bit of local history, too, by apparently becoming the first openly gay candidate to win a Kane County election of this sort.
Walters said that in the wake of his loss, he will have to consider reopening his law practice which he closed down to become a judge, “It would be heard to reopen a practice that I had closed down already. I don’t even want to think about that,” Walters said.
The second subcircuit represents the voters of the eastern portions of Elgin and Dundee townships. However, once new judges are seated in December, the judge elected Tuesday will be assigned as any other judge — based on recommendations from the other 16th Circuit court judges and the newly-appointed chief judge, Judith Brawka.
Historically, new judges are assigned to the Elgin Branch Court at Elgin City Hall, 150 Dexter Court. Bond call for Elgin, Carpentersville and northern Kane County is held there, as are local misdemeanor cases.
As of Dec. 1, however, the Elgin Branch Court will be closed the first and third Fridays each month as a cost-saving measure.
Many other changes are in store for Kane County courts. As of December, Kane County will remain as the 16th District Court and Kendall and DeKalb counties become the 23rd District.