There is a vacancy for a judge in the Associate Division 21. That race pits Democrat Don Crank versus Republican Dan Imhof.
Crank has two stints in the Greene County Prosecutor's office under his belt. A Sedalia, Mo. native, Crank moved to Springfield in 1988. He said he's known for working well with people on both sides of the political spectrum.
In his speech to the Springfield Bar Association, Crank focused more on the restraint needed in today's judicial system.
"We are required to be ministers of justice. Sometimes you don't file charges against people if the evidence isn't there. Doing what's right doesn't always include what's popular," Crank said.
Crank said he has been very sensitive to the rights of victims in the prosecutor's office. "We have to uphold their rights. We have to have the ability to recognize cases for what they are worth and have the courage to make the proper decisions under the law," Crank said.
Crank also called for more judges and clerks to be added to the system.
The Republican candidate Dan Imhof has been practicing law for 26 1/2 years. He also worked in the prosecutor's office and has since moved into private practice.
"I've have the experience of on a daily basis appearing in the Circuit Court," Imhof said.
He said he realizes he would be the "new kid on the block," if elected and has the right type of personality to contribute to a team effort on the bench.
"I'd never consider myself as a person with a big ego. The main thing that distinguishes me is that I am crazy enough to go through with this job. I realize that all of you are just as qualified to do it," Imhof told the lawyers at the Springfield Bar Association luncheon.
He said he believes in allowing lawyers to handle their own cases. "The attorney knows much more about the case than the judge does," he said. "The best thing about working in Greene County . . . is working with the lawyers."