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Putnam County State’s Attorney James A. Mack, a Republican, has announced his intention to fill the seat of retiring Judge Scott A. Shore as resident circuit judge in the upcoming election.
Mack currently is serving his third term as Putnam County state’s attorney. Mack started his legal career as an associate in the general practice law firm of Boyle, Goldsmith and Bolin, where he practiced in the areas of insurance defense, probate and family law, a position he held until 2000 when he was first elected state’s attorney. He was also the assistant public defender for Putnam County while working at the Boyle firm.
He worked as an associate at the law firm of Schweickert & Ganassin from 2004-08 practicing in the areas of municipal and personal injury law. Mack graduated from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1995 where he served as president of the Student Bar Association and co-editor of the law school newspaper.
“From private practice and representing the accused to being a prosecutor and representing the county, my wide range of legal experience fits well with the varied and important decisions a judge must make,” Mack said. “Through both private practice and public service I have learned that a fair, compassionate and even-tempered pursuit of justice is the best course, even in contentious environments.”
Mack, 48, is active in several civic and religious organizations. Mack is a member of and has served as president and vice president of the Granville Rotary (now known as Putnam County Rotary), and the Hennepin Business and Betterment Association, as well as grand knight of the Knights of Columbus. Service to Mack also means serving on the boards of community organizations such as Putnam County Achievement Services (Putnam County Community Center), and Community Partners Against Substance Abuse. He is the secretary of the Putnam County Bar Association, member of Illinois Bar Association and Illinois State’s Attorney Association. Mack is also on the board or a member of several other civic, benevolent and professional organizations.
“I have always enjoyed serving Putnam County by using the law to seek justice. In this respect, being state’s attorney is a very fulfilling job. If allowed to serve as resident circuit judge I will continue to serve the people of Putnam County by seeking justice through law, albeit in a different capacity,” Mack said. “I would be humbled and honored to use my experience and skills to serve the people of Putnam County as their resident circuit judge.”
Mack is a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and lives in Hennepin with his wife, Beth, and their children Roman and Veronika.
----------------- Brad Popurella
Brad Popurella, a McNabb attorney, is running for Putnam County Circuit Judge on the Democratic ticket.
“I believe I have the civil and criminal experience to effectively serve the citizens of Putnam County as their resident judge,” Popurella said. “I have worked as a prosecutor in various forms for 12 years. On top of that I have extensive experience in civil litigation wherein I have represented the rights of injured workers and families in the Illinois Valley and throughout North Central Illinois.”
Popurella, 37, owns Popurella Law Office, which provides legal representation for victims of workplace accidents, personal injury, product liability and medical negligence. He also practices criminal defense, family law, real estate law, as well as municipal law as the village attorney for Magnolia.
Popurella graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1998. He earned his law degree from Northern Illinois University in 2001. While at Northern Illinois University College of Law, he represented the school in the ATLA Mock Trial Competition in Chicago. He also served as a class representative to the Student Bar Association and was a founding member of the Italian-American Law Student Association.
He began his law career as a law clerk in the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office in 1999 where he worked through 2004. He was the chief of the traffic division and also assisted in the prosecution of various misdemeanors and felonies, including assisting in the investigation of two murder cases while serving as an assistant state’s attorney. He joined Anthony C. Raccuglia and Associates as an associate counsel in 2004, where he practiced until 2012. After a year at Wimbiscus Law Firm in Spring Valley, he opened his own office. He is licensed to practice in both Illinois and Wisconsin as well as federal courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
Popurella has been active in the community. He served on the Oglesby Fire Department for 16 years as a volunteer firefighter, followed by four years on the McNabb Fire Department, where he now serves as fire chief. He also has served on the ambulance service in Oglesby as a driver for four years, and currently serves as an EMT-Basic for both Oglesby Ambulance Service and 10/33 Ambulance Service in Spring Valley.
He is a board member of the Putnam County Historical Society. He is also presently a member of the Granville Rotary Club and is the current coach of the Magnolia Instructional League Boys baseball team.
A native of Oglesby, he has resided in McNabb since 2006 with his wife of 10 years, Kristina. They have two sons, Zachary and Anthony.
Popurella stated, “I have diverse experience as a prosecutor and private attorney and I will use these experiences to effectively hear both the civil and criminal matters which would come before the court in a responsible, accountable, and effective manner. The values I was taught while growing up — hard work, respect, honesty and civic responsibility — give me the foundation to be an effective judge.”
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