QUINCY -- Pointing to his years of practicing law, Quincy attorney Tad Brenner announced Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for circuit judge in the 8th Judicial Circuit.
"First and foremost, a good judge needs to have a knowledge of the law," Brenner said. "Without a knowledge of the law, a judge simply cannot function."
Brenner, 57, seeks the seat previously held by Judge Mark Drummond, who retired last week after 20 years on the bench.
The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Quincy attorney Drew Erwin to fill the remainder of Drummond's term. He will take office Sept. 6.
In his campaign kickoff at Revelry in downtown Quincy, Brenner said judges must have the ability to discern the truth, analyze evidence and be able to apply the law to the facts, as well as look a the "human element" that is part of every case.
"Without an understanding that there are people, we cannot fully have the law and the decisions that we require as a society," he said. "I believe I have the experience, the background and the skills to make a good judge for this circuit."
He has been a trial lawyer for 32 years representing various types of clients in both criminal and civil cases.
"A judge must go to the bench with a variety of experience -- a depth of experience -- and a willingness to service," Brenner said.
He believes his diversity and depth of experience will set him apart from Erwin.
Brenner was one of the nine candidates that were considered for the appointment after Drummond announced his retirement.
He sought the Republican nomination for at-large circuit judge in 2010, which was won by Judge Robert Adrian.
Drummond's seat is at large seat, meaning that voters from Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike and Schuyler counties will cast votes.
Erwin said he will run to retain his appointment.
"Nine candidates, including myself and Mr. Brenner, spent considerable time in separate interviews with Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman and a blue-ribbon committee of local civic leaders," Erwin said. "The committee found me to be exceptionally well qualified to serve as a judge and the seven Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously agreed. I look forward to continuing the legacy of Judge Drummond as a fair and impartial jurist."
Brenner believes he was not fully prepared when he ran for circuit judge in 2010.
"My experience has grown exponentially over that 10 years," he said. "In terms of campaigning, I've learned a lot of skills in terms of how to go out and meet people, how to go to counties other than (Adams). This is eight counties, and I realize that there are folks who a circuit judge will be deciding case for outside of Adams County. They need to meet me."
Brenner is a sixth-generation Quincy native. He lives in Quincy with his wife, Kim. They have two adult sons, Tad and Miles.