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Women may have been the big winners in the first First Judicial Circuit. Voters chose two Republican women for at-large judge positions and a Democratic woman for resident judge in Jackson County.

The First Judicial Circuit is comprised of Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.

Judge Carey C. Gill


Judge Carey C. Gill of Carterville won the at-large seat of Judge James "Randy" Moore. 

Gill of Carterville, a Republican, was appointed to fill Moore’s vacancy in January 2017. Gill practiced as an attorney for 16 years with Barrett, Twomey, Broom, Hughes and Hoke.

“It is absolutely amazing. I am so grateful and thankful all the help and support of my family and friends. It has been an amazing journey. I couldn’t have done it without all of the support,” Gill said. “It was quite the humbling experience.”

She said she will be taking down signs and preparing for a trial on Thursday.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their thoughts and prayers. The prayers mean more to me than anything,” Gill said.

Her opponent, Democrat Jason A. Olson of Marion, is an assistant state’s attorney in Saline County.

“I’m proud of the race we ran. I was very proud of my opponent. We both kept it very clean, which is difficult today,” Olson said. “It just looks like another Republican tidal wave throughout Southern Illinois.”

Olson said as he walked around and talked to people and watched the results come in, he heard a lot of talk about people casting straight Republican tickets. He also believes a lot of first-time voters came out today to show their support for President Donald Trump.

Amanda Byassee Gott


Republican Amanda Byassee Gott of Marion won the at-large seat of Judge Mark Clarke, defeating Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Edmonds.

Byassee Gott has owned her own law office for more than 15 years. She has 10 years of experience as family law mediator and a court approved guardian ad litem for children and disabled adults. She served on the character and fitness committee of the Fifth District.

Edmonds of Anna is in his third term as Union County State’s Attorney and serves on the boards of States Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor and Southern Illinois Child Death Investigation Task Force.

Stephen Green


Republican Stephen Green defeated Democrat David Lawler for the seat of Williamson County Resident Judge Phillip G. Palmer Sr.

Green, of Marion, practices general law with Armstrong and Green and serves as Marion city attorney.

Lawler, of Marion, served as assistant state’s attorney in Williamson County and founded of Lawler Brown Law Firm in 2012 with his brother, Adam, and Nick Brown.

Republican Judge John W. Sanders of Marion defeated Democrat E. Ryan Hall, also of Marion, to fill the vacancy created by Williamson County Resident Judge Carolyn Smoot’s retirement.

John W. Sanders


Sanders of Marion was appointed resident judge on Nov. 30, 2016, when Smoot retired and was in private practice in Marion before his appointment.

Hall of Marion practices labor and employment law and served as assistant Williamson County State’s Attorney from 2002 to 2010.

Associate Judge Christy Solverson


Judge Christy W. Solverson easily defeated Steven M.J. Bost for the seat previously held by Jackson County Resident Judge William G. Schwartz.

Solverson of Carbondale was appointed associate judge in Jackson County in 2005 and is a member of Judicial College Board of Trustees and the board of Southern Illinois Women for Health and Wellness.

Steven Bost of Murphysboro is an attorney with Miller and Bost, Attorney at Law in Murphysboro, serves on Jackson County Board and is major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

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