QUINCY -- Drew Erwin believes justice is a process, and he takes the same approach to the courtroom as he did as an attorney.
"The process requires that we be fair, and each day that I sit on the bench, it's my aspiration to be fair to each and every person that appears before me," Erwin said. "The process that I follow is to make sure that I accurately hear the parties, that I'm patient, that I'm polite, that I'm respectful, that I allow the parties to adequately be heard and that I make sure the parties understand the rights to the proceedings."
Erwin announced his candidacy for Republican nomination for circuit judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Monday outside the Adams County Courthouse. The election is March 17, 2020.
Erwin, 53, was sworn in as judge on Sept. 6. He was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court from a field of nine applicants to replace Judge Mark Drummond, who retired Aug. 5 after 20 years on the bench.
"When I was appointed by the Supreme Court, the mention that was made is I have broad legal experience, but it was also my communication skills," he said. "I think it's important as a judge to not only have experience, but I think it's in the way you communicate with parties and the way you approach."
The seat is at large, meaning that voters from Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike and Schuyler counties will cast votes.
Quincy attorney Tad Brenner, 57, announced in August that would seek the Republican nomination. Brenner also sought the appointment to the bench.
Before he was appointed judge, Erwin practiced general civil law after forming Drew T. Erwin, Lrd., in 1996. Before that he practiced law in Quincy as an associated attorney with Leeper and Farha P.C., in 1991 and became a partner in 1993. He served as a public defender in Adams County from 1992 to 1994, and as an assistant state's attorney
Erwin, who is assigned to ordinance violations, traffic, DUI, probate and emergency orders of protection, said the transition to judge has been relatively smoothly.
"What I liken it to is it's like a play and you've seen all the parts in the play," he said. "I've been on the other side as an actor on a different part, and I've seen that part played and I was very familiar with it, but it's actually executing that and doing it."
Erwin, a native of Oklahoma, has lived in Quincy since 1991. He is married to the former Julie Gunn of Camp Point, and he has four sons, Adlai, William, Aubrey and Alden.