DIXON — Judge Douglas E. Lee on Oct. 4 will formally announce he is running for the circuit judgeship opening created by the retirement of Judge Daniel A. Fish.
“I made my intention to run for this seat publicly known some time ago,” Lee said, “but now that nominating petitions are being circulated, I believe it’s appropriate to formally announce my candidacy.”
Lee will announce his candidacy twice on Oct. 4, first at 8:15 a.m. in the old Lee County Courthouse in Dixon and again at noon in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square in downtown Freeport.
Lee, 57, is currently sitting in the seat formerly held by Fish, which traditionally has been located in Dixon. When Fish retired in July, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Lee to fill the remainder of Fish’s term. Before taking the circuit judgeship, Lee served as associate judge in Lee County.
“It was an extreme honor to be appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill Judge Fish’s term,” Lee said. “I’m working as hard as I can to maintain our Circuit’s reputation for outstanding circuit judges.”
Lee is one of eight circuit judges in the 15th Judicial Circuit, which contains Lee, Stephenson, Ogle, Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. As one of the three at-large circuit judges, Lee must run in every county in the Circuit.
Before taking the bench, Lee practiced commercial and civil law for 27 years with Ehrmann Gehlbach Badger Lee & Considine and its predecessor firms in Dixon. Before returning home to Dixon in 1991, Lee practiced for four years with the Washington, D.C. office of Baker & Hostetler.
“I believe my 31 years of experience prepared me well for the bench,” Lee said. “Over a period of time like that, you see a little bit of everything and practice before a wide range of judges.”
Lee graduated summa cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law and magna cum laude from the University of Illinois.
Lee’s community commitment has included service on the boards of directors of KSB Hospital, Open Sesame Child Care Center, the Dixon Area of Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Lee County Industrial Development Association.
Lee, who also served eight years on the Dixon school board, was named Dixon’s Citizen of the Year in 2001.
Lee and his wife, Ann, have two adult children.