CLINTON COUNTY — Associate Judge Douglas Gruenke has announced that he will run for the office of circuit judge of the Illinois Fourth Judicial Circuit.
A statement from Gruenke, released on Sunday, said the at-large circuit judge vacancy was created by the election of Judge Michael McHaney to the Fifth District Appellate Court. Gruenke will run in the Republican primary in 2024.
Gruenke was appointed as an associate judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit in 2021, after having been previously elected Clinton County state’s attorney. Prior to being elected state’s attorney, he was in private practice for over 18 years, representing and advising municipalities, small businesses and private citizens.
Since being appointed associate judge, Gruenke has presided over court proceedings in all nine counties in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, handling both criminal and civil cases.
“Having the opportunity to conduct court in all nine counties in our circuit has allowed me to meet many wonderful and hardworking people from every corner of the circuit. It would be a privilege to receive their support for circuit judge,” he said.
Gruenke is a graduate of Wesclin High School, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Law. He and his wife live in New Baden, where they raised their four children. His desire to serve has led him to coach the Wesclin boys’ and girls’ high school soccer teams, the Wesclin High School Robotics Team and club soccer.
He also serves as a board member and former chairman for Clinton County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities(CEO). He has been a Sunday school teacher for over 20 years, and previously served as a board member for LifeSavers Training Corporation, a peer-to-peer youth suicide prevention organization, and as a member of the St. Joseph’s Breese Hospital Foundation Leadership Council.
The Fourth Judicial Circuit is comprised of Christian, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Marion, Montgomery and Shelby counties.