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Lawler wins Democratic primary for Williamson County circuit judge

  • David Lawler

    David Lawler

  • Phillip Palmer. Jr.

    Phillip Palmer. Jr.

Managing Editor
updated: 3/20/2018 11:28 PM

MARION -- David Lawler of Marion won the Democratic primary Tuesday for Williamson County Circuit Court Judge of the First Judicial Circuit.

In doing so he outdistanced Phillip Palmer, Jr. of Herrin, the sitting judge's son.

Unofficially, with all 65 precincts reporting, Lawler had 3,044 votes as compared to Palmer's 1,872.

"Give credit to Mr. Lawler and his campaign," Palmer Jr. said Tuesday night. "They worked incredibly hard."

The 34-year-old Lawler, who practices with the Lawler Brown firm in Marion, was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

He will face Republican candidate Stephen R. Green in November.

Lawler told the Marion Republican previously that he felt his experience in jury trials and time as an assistant state's attorney to the late Charles Garnati have prepared him to be a good judge.

"Temperament, integrity and impartiality are the most important qualities of a great judge," Lawler said. "Attorneys and judges from both parties through the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Advisory Poll rated me the highest in these categories."

Lawler also said he plans to focus on improving access to Drug Court, Veterans Court, and Mental Health Court.

"I promise to decide all cases fairly," he said.

Palmer Jr., an attorney and law clerk at Brandon & Schmidt law firm in Carbondale, said he has "no regrets" that he ran for the office his father, Phillip G. Palmer, has held for years.

"It was an honor and a privilege to get to meet so many people during the campaign," the 28-year-old said. "I received a lot of support from family and friends and feel truly blessed because of that.

"It was a great learning experience for me. I'm going to go back to the firm and get caught up on my work.

"As for the future ... you never take anything off the board."