Mary Elizabeth McClellan
Republican candidate for 22th Circuit district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
As a young girl my dream was to one day become a judge. We should all be lucky enough to realize our dreams. During these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to know who your elected officials are and what they stand for.
I met many of you as I walked door to door. It is great to discuss the issues and listen to your individual concerns. I am passionate about improving the quality of life and future of McHenry County. I graduated from McHenry County College after returning to school as a single mother.
I then obtained my Bachelor's Degree from National Lewis University in Business Administration and went on to obtain my law degree from the John Marshall Law School. I attended school in the evening and worked full time all through the years I attended school.
I met my husband here in McHenry County 30 years ago. We have raised our family and continue to have a vested interest in the community. I have run a small business, worked my way through college and law school. After law school I went to work for the McHenry County State's Attorney's office, I then went into private practice where I defended civil rights cases for the Sheriff of Cook County and other municipalities. I returned to public service in the Cook County State's Attorney's office and served 6 years handling complex litigation, civil rights, enforcement of zoning and building, election law, labor and employment.
I have personally tried many case both bench trials and jury trials. I have written and won several appellate arguments. I have 13 years' experience practicing law and 5 years as a paralegal for SNR Denton during law school. With 18 years of experience I want to guarantee equal access to justice for all citizens.
There is a growing perception that there's now two forms of justice in America one for the rich and powerful and one for the rest of us. I have spent the last 2 1/2 years serving as the McHenry County Clerk where there have been significant changes in the law as it applies to elections. I have brought the office into the 21st century with fresh ideas and all within budget.
This included new voter registration system, new vital records system with upgrades to Assumed name registration, Notary Public and electronic filing of statement of economic filings. These efficiencies have save hundreds of thousands of dollars to McHenry County taxpayers. Public service continues to be an important part of my life and I look forward to serving the citizens of McHenry County.
As an attorney I have had many opportunities to lead initiatives, provide input to a balanced budget, and interact with the community in different venues. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am enthusiast and dedicated, I would like to give the Citizens of McHenry County my very best. I would appreciate the opportunity to provide the citizens of McHenry County my dedication and support as their Circuit Court Judge.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I love to fish.