MT. VERNON – Vowing to keep “liberal Chicago politics” out of our courtrooms, Justice Barry Vaughan today formally announced his candidacy to retain his seat on Illinois’ Fifth District Appellate Court in front of the courthouse in Mt. Vernon.

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“All of us have seen how divisive political agendas have started to creep into every facet of our lives…,” explained Vaughan. “That cannot be allowed to happen to the justice system.”

“Keeping liberal and activist agendas out of the courtroom and making sure that our system is fair for everyone—not just elites—is one of my core principles. I believe that everyone who sets foot in my courtroom should have their voice heard and get a fair shake.”

Vaughn has been a distinguished member of the legal community for over 30 years, earning a reputation as a tough-but-fair jurist. Before Supreme Court Justice David Overstreet nominated Vaughan to the Appellate Court (which the Supreme Court unanimously approved), he served as a trial judge, solo practitioner, defense attorney, and prosecutor. In fact, Vaughan is the only candidate in this race who has been a prosecutor. “This experience has earned the respect of my colleagues and the public,” Vaughan said. “That respect, and my experience, sets me apart from the other candidates competing for this seat.”

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Vaughan is also the only candidate in the race who is a lifelong conservative Republican with a proven track record, a point Vaughan emphasized when making his announcement. “I’ve spent a lifetime defending Southern Illinois values,” he explained. “And while I’ve always followed President Reagan’s ‘11th Commandment,’ never speaking ill of my fellow Republicans, I’m not sure my opponents qualify. They’ve endorsed Democrats, been appointed as Democrats, or run for office as Democrats as recently as just three years ago.”

Vaughan concluded by reiterating the importance of maintaining a steady, experienced, conservative presence in the Illinois Appellate Court—something his opponents can’t offer.

“We need to stand up to liberal activists and opportunistic politicians and keep Chicago-style activism far away from our courtrooms. We need judges who can push back against these forces, uphold the law, protect our freedoms, and defend local control,” Vaughan said. “I believe in that vision for how the legal system should work—and must work—for all Illinoisans.”

Justice Vaughan has additional campaign announcement stops today in St. Clair County and Vermilion County. On October 13th, Justice Vaughan is hosting a campaign kickoff event in Mt. Vernon at the Granada Theatre.

About Justice Barry Vaughan: Justice Barry Vaughan is an Appellate Court Justice who has served as a judge for nearly 20 years in his 30-plus-year legal career. He served 18 years in the Second Circuit before being nominated to the Fifth District Appellate Court by Supreme Court Justice David Overstreet and unanimously approved by the Illinois Supreme Court. Justice Vaughan is also a past president of the Fairfield Lions Club, the Hamilton County Rotary Club, the Wayne County Bar Association, and the Hamilton County Fair Association. He has been married for 32 years to his wife, Kimberly, and they have three children—Grant, Landon, and Kylee.

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