Name: Felicia H. Simmons Stovall
Age (as of Election Day): 54
Current residence: Chicago, Washington Heights neighborhood
Current position: Enforcement attorney, Illinois Secretary of State, Securities Department, 2006-present
Past legal experience: Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, Administrative Hearing Department, 1999-2006; sole practitioner, 1996-1999
Campaign funds available, July 1 to Dec. 31: N/A. Committee not created with state elections board until Jan. 22.
Campaign funds spent, July 1 to Dec. 31: N/A. Committee not created with state elections board until Jan. 22.
Law school: DePaul University College of Law, 1996
Campaign website: stovall4judge.com
Family: Married to Glenn; children: Glenn Jr., Jourdain and Jazmin
Hobbies/interests: I am part of the Cook County Bar Association and volunteer with the Judicial Evaluation Committee and Judge’s Night for the Judicial Reception Committee. I also work with CAN TV for the bar association, talking about election law issues. I’ve also volunteered with the Church Legal Leadership Committee at Apostolic Church of God, where we host a summit for the Cook County Clerk’s expungement program and community workshops for seniors on financial issues.
Have you ever run for office before?
In 2007 and 2011, I ran for alderman in the 15th Ward of Chicago.
Why should voters support your candidacy?
I believe wholeheartedly that I’m an individual who wants to make certain that anyone who appears before me has the opportunity to have their case heard. I was born and raised in the Robert Taylor Homes and moved to West Englewood as a child.
Having grown up in Chicago and experienced Chicago, both the great part from an educational and political standpoint, and the not so great part of Chicago where I’ve seen rampant poverty, I want to make a difference in the communities I’ve lived in. That’s why I ran for alderman.
As a judge, I hope to continue to serve as a role model and bring a well-rounded perspective on the bench from a legal perspective, but also from having lived in less-served communities and being able to understand and empathize with some of the issues that face our community and some of the people who will likely appear before me as a judge.
I also look to try and solve problems and settle differences. You may not be happy with my decision, but know that I am being fair. I always hear both sides and that’s how I would position myself on the bench. They might not come out victorious, but know that I let everyone present their case and decide accordingly.
Why do you want to be a judge?
I’ve always wanted to be a judge. I believe in continuing to promote diversity on the bench. Having been in the field for 24 years, it’s been my desire to continue serving in that manner and promote integrity on the bench.
What was the most interesting case you handled as a lawyer?
This was interesting in the sense that was somewhat heart-wrenching. I represented a mother who had her child removed by the state of Illinois. I worked to get the child returned to the mother, even though she had violated a court order by moving to another state for employment without petitioning ahead of time for relocation. Moving was a violation of a shared custody agreement. I was able to get the child back home and into a stable environment.
It was an interesting case because it took advocacy and determination to get the child returned to the home she grew up in. Working on that case, advocating for the mom and the best interests of the child was a case that stayed with me. I did have to be able to manage the child and the mother and advocate on behalf of my client, and encourage her to not give up and keep fighting to get her daughter back.
What would you consider your greatest career accomplishment?
Doing what I’m doing now, seeking the position on the bench. I believe I’ve done a number of things and mastered a number of areas of the law and, at this point now, I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. Now, I’m at the point that I’m actually beginning to put those wheels into motion.
What qualities do you plan to bring to the bench?
One of the things that I look at myself to be is a fair person. I believe that’s a quality that is important on the bench. Integrity on the bench is so important for people to continue to have faith in the system. The bench must show that it has integrity, that’s the whole nature of the system.
I also have a son with autism. He’s high functioning, but raising him, I know my compassion has increased tenfold and so has my understanding of individuals with disabilities as I’ve learned to help them help themselves. I believe I would bring that to this position.