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  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS Judicial candidate Brad Trowbridge on a repeat run, objectivity, Kyle Rittenhouse
by Andrew Davis
2022-06-25

This article shared 977 times since Sat Jun 25, 2022
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If Brad Trowbridge's face looks familiar from Windy City Times' election-related articles, that would make sense. The openly gay attorney has run in local judicial races three times, narrowly losing in 2020.

Trowbridge recently talked with Windy City Times about his current campaign and the importance of research.

Windy City Times: We've gone down this road once or twice. I feel that you're the living embodiment of perseverance. [Trowbridge laughs.] So what makes this time different?

Brad Trowbridge: It's either perseverance or insanity. In 2020, by the time they counted the mail-in ballots, I had lost by about 4 percentage points.

One of the things that makes this different is that I've never had so much support from Democratic leadership. In the past, the subcircuit has not been uniform in [its] support of a particular candidate. Now I have the support of U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Mike Quigley as well as state Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Ann Williams and state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz. It all feels good but it doesn't guarantee anything, of course.

My opponents are different this time as well. One is John Fritchey, who is a former Cook County board commissioner and state rep.

It's also interesting that most of the people seem to be mailing in their ballots this time—or even dropping them off at polling places like libraries. However, even some of my very educated friends don't know the primary elections are coming up June 28. When it comes to voting, I tend to vote early—and I try to figure out when the fewest people will be there. [Laughs]

WCT: So do you like your chances this time?

BT: I don't even think about things like that. At Pride Fest, someone asked me, "How do you feel about this?" and I said, "I don't think of anything. I just get up and do what I have to do that day. I just go through my list of things, and whatever happens happens." I sorta thought I was going to win in 2020, but as a result of losing that and because of the pandemic, I'm just numb to that. I'll believe [the win] when I see it.

WCT: I think the Roe v. Wade decision has really taught the public about conservative and progressive judges. How can anyone guarantee that he/she/they will be an objective judge?

BT: I think the voter needs to investigate bar ratings. They are based on what judges and other attorneys say about a candidate's character, knowledge and temperament. So I don't think there's a guarantee someone is going to be objective, but there are organizations that have done their research. For example, the abortion-rights group Personal PAC has endorsed me and both of my opponents; they don't just pick their favorite candidates—they investigate.

WCT: You have a background as a social worker. How would that help you as a judge?

BT: That would depend on which division I was assigned to, since I don't get to pick my division.

I think what it gives me—and what the typical candidate doesn't have—is the understanding that there may be more than meets the eye in terms of the superficial allegations or claims made. I think I'm more in tune in realizing there may be items that lie below the surface.

WCT: Tell me why you feel LGBTQ+ representation matters on the bench—or do you?

BT: I don't know if it matters as much as it used to. In the last few years, things seem to have gone backward. It is important to have people from our community as role models and as examples who come into court—for example, same-sex couples. I think having a gay judge puts people at ease and let them feel they'll be treated fairly.

I think that's one of the great things about [trans individual] Jill Rose Quinn being a judge. It sends a message to trans kids that you can be a judge.

WCT: What's a famous trial in which you wish you could've served as judge?

BT: Kyle Rittenhouse! [Laughs] That's an example of a judge [Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder] who inserted himself into the trial. And while there was a jury, I think he influenced it. I can't recall the name of the judge who presided over the [Ahmaud] Arbery trial [Chatham County Judge Timothy Wamsley], but he was the opposite; he didn't play favorites and didn't influence the jury. He was a model judge.

WCT: These last two years have tested people and provided plenty of time for self-reflection. What have you learned about yourself?

BT: [Laughs] I am very independent and I don't need to be around a lot of people. I'm the total opposite of the average person who suffered and felt the need to socialize. I will say that in the early part of 2020, for the first time in my life, I felt a sense of loneliness and isolation; I ended up talking the clerk at Target and talking with other people in the office [space] about how great it was to see each other. I'm an only child so spending all day by myself had never been a big deal.

WCT: Is there anything you wanted to add about yourself or your campaign?

BT: I strongly encourage voters to do research before voting for judges. We have historically voted based on things like surnames. Once a judge is elected, it's very hard to get that person off the bench. Go to places like VoteForJudges.org, The Reader and Injustice Watch, and do your research. Voting for judges doesn't seem to matter until you're standing in front of one.

Trowbridge's campaign website is www.bradforjudge2022.com .

The Illinois primary election is Tuesday, June 28.


This article shared 977 times since Sat Jun 25, 2022
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