Monday, July 27, 2009

John Vespa announces candidacy for Circuit Judge

From a Press Release:

Peoria attorney John Vespa announced today he will seek the Republican nomination for judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit. He will run for the seat that is being vacated by his oldest brother, Judge Joe Vespa.

“I am running for judge because I have the experience, temperament and values to effectively make decisions that are fair and uphold the standards of the law,” Vespa said. “My diverse background as a practicing attorney, police officer, and community leader gives me the proper experience to serve as a judge and uphold the principles of the law.”

Vespa is a Peoria native with 17 years of extensive experience throughout the state of Illinois and primarily in the 10th Judicial Circuit. His practice includes both criminal and civil law and he has appeared in many Illinois trial court circuits, the Illinois Appellate Court (3rd District), Federal District Court, and before numerous governmental agencies.

“My legal practice involves working directly with people, from representing them in the courtroom to meeting with them in my office to interviewing witnesses in their homes and business,” Vespa said. “I think it is critical for a judge to have such diverse experience dealing with people because the decisions made in the courtroom have such an enormous impact on our society.”

The son of a Caterpillar welder, Mario Vespa, who was born in Toluca, and June Aleene Vespa, John worked as a Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy where he received a Distinguished Service Award and three Letters of Commendation and was a member of the Honor Guard. While working full-time at the Sheriff’s Department, Vespa obtained a B.A. degree in Social Justice from the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University) and was on the Dean’s List. Vespa graduated from Southern Illinois University Law School and received several academic honors, including the Book Award, which is the highest honor given for trial advocacy, and was a finalist (highest honor given) in the Moot Court competition. He was also a member of the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.

Vespa is an active community volunteer and has served on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) executive board, the Peoria High School Alumni Association and the Peoria County Bar Association Board of Directors. He has volunteered for Special Olympics, the Center for Prevention of Abuse and the American Legion. Vespa also served as Director of the Legal Assistance to Military People (LAMP) program from its inception after its founding by the Peoria County Bar Association.

Vespa was a starting member of the 1974-75 Peoria High School football team that won the Mid-State Nine conference championship and participated in the last Turkey Day game and the first ever Illinois High School football tournament.

Vespa resides in Peoria with his wife, Diane, who is a Realtor in the Peoria area. They have two children, Jim (7) and Jenniffer (6).

The 10th Judicial Circuit includes Peoria, Tazewell, Stark, Marshall and Putnam Counties. The primary election is on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.


Ken said...

I just received a brochure from Kate Gorman asking for her support in the upcoming election. In that brochure she states her experience, which sounds really good. However, I don't have any idea how she rules or whether I would consider her to be a good judge or not. Dittoes for Mr. Vespa. There are lots of people sitting on the bench with great academic and job experience who are terrible judges (such as the newest member of the Supreme Court). How can we get information on their judicial philosophy, i.e., do they render decisions based on the law or on popular opinion, etc.?

Diane Vespa said...

First of all, thank you for your interest in the judicial elections. They are often overlooked by voters but in my opinion our judges play a vitally important role in society. You are wise to recognize that.

Ken, I would have to refer you to Ms. Gorman for your questions regarding her philosophies, but I can speak for my husband, John Vespa. He has a detailed website at as well as a blog that will give you very deep insights into who he is as a person and a potential circuit judge.

Bear in mind that judges cannot tell you in advance how they would rule on any specific issue, but it is wise to seek insights into their temperament and level of integrity.

John runs a very transparent, open campaign and lays it all out in his campaign blog at You are also always welcome to talk to him personally by calling 309-251-VOTE (8683) or
email him at

Thank you for your interest in his campaign but also for treating your civic duty to vote so carefully and responsibly.

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