Dana Rhodes

Dana Rhodes

Two area attorneys have announced their candidacies for powerful positions.

Set to appear on the ballot in 2020: Piatt State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades, who plans to run for the resident circuit judge opening coming in her home county, and Westville law partner Sandra Lawles, who intends to run as a Democrat candidate for Vermilion County state’s attorney.

Monticello native Hugh Finson said last month he’ll retire from his Piatt County judgeship on the Sixth Circuit Court when his six-year term ends next year. Two weeks later, in an Independence Day-themed Facebook post, Rhoades announced her candidacy.

She wrote: “As I think on our Country’s Birthday, I am reminded how lucky we are to call USA our home. With this sentiment in mind, I am officially announcing my candidacy for Piatt County Resident Circuit Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Serving Piatt County as the State’s Attorney for the last 11 years has been an extraordinary honor and I want to continue my service to the citizens of Piatt County.”

Running as a Republican in 2016, Jaqueline Lacy was elected Vermilion County’s first female state’s attorney. She’ll face competition from Lawlyes, a prosecutor for 22 years and a Vermilion assistant state’s attorney for 19.

I am uniquely qualified to bring my experience to that office as state’s attorney to prosecute cases in a fair and just manner, bring closure to victims, their families, and our community and to assist those with drug addictions and mental health issues to lead productive, crime-free lives,” Lawlyes said.

My extensive experience as a prosecutor in Vermilion County gives me the perspective of knowing what works and what doesn’t work for us.”