March 20, 2018
March 20, 2018
Why I’m Running
Judge Preston Jones, Jr.
Circuit Court of Cook County
I grew up in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago. I was lucky to have parents healthy enough to be able to work hard—in fact my dad held two jobs to make ends meet. We didn’t have much, but they’d saved enough to find a little house in Bellwood as I entered my adolescence. My mother was the soul of our household and made sure that my sister and I went to the best schools she could find and made us study hard. That hard work paid off, and I received scholarships for high school and college. After college, I attended law school at the University of Illinois when tuition was still affordable. I come from humble means and every day I think about the combination of luck and hard work, especially my parents’ hard work, that got me to this point.
In my 23-year career as a Cook County public defender, I have represented people in every stage of life and for every crime. For the past 13 years, I have served as a member of Homicide Task Force. I have been lead counsel in dozens of jury trials, some lasting weeks, and The Chicago Bar Association recently found me “Highly Qualified” to be a judge- an honor of which I am especially proud.
I am now a father myself, and I work to instill in my four children the same values my parents instilled in me- a good work ethic, compassion, and integrity. I have a son who is on the autism spectrum, and I want to ensure that he has the same opportunities as other children, so I coach his special needs soccer team. My children are my heart, and I pray for life to be good to them, although I recognize the value of some amount of struggle to instill character.
I have been extremely fortunate and have had many opportunities that my clients have not. I have loved my career helping those who are the most marginalized of all, but it’s time for me to embark on a new phase of public service. I know the law, and I know the criminal justice system from having spent over two decades in this field. I also know our low-income communities and how crime affects those living there. I will serve Cook County from the bench as I have served as an assistant public defender; I have never gotten to choose my clients, but I have treated each one with respect. As a judge, I will treat everyone appearing before me with dignity and will apply the law fairly and equally regardless of race, gender, gender expression, religious affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or nation of origin.
I hope to earn your trust and your vote on March 20, 2018.
Cook County Democratic Party
Polish American Police Association (PAPA)
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Congressman Danny Davis
Plymouth Grill’s roof top bar
327 S. Plymouth, Chicago, IL
Sept. 27, 2017 | 5:30-8:00 pm
Suggested donation of $100
Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
Assistant Public Defender 1994-Present
Homicide Task Force
Leighton Criminal Court Building 2006-Present
Fourth Municipal District 2004-2006
Litigate jury and bench trials for individuals accused of murder or manslaughter. Advocate for individuals at all stages of proceeding, from arraignment through sentencing. Plan strategy for complex cases and maintain a significant case load requiring a sophisticated understanding of criminal law and procedure and strong time management skills. Foster cooperation with opposing counsel and court personnel as appropriate. Mentor interns and law students.
- Lead counsel on dozens of murder trials.
- Member of trial team on high-profile, complex DNA, mass-murder commonly known as the Brown’s Chicken case, deposing over 50 witnesses and conducting direct and cross examinations at trial and sentencing.
- At age 35, one of the youngest attorneys to ever be promoted to Homicide Task Force.
- Conduct office-wide trainings for attorneys and investigators on resentencing hearings for individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles.
Felony Trial Division
Leighton Criminal Court Building 1999-2004
Litigated felony jury and bench trials. Assigned to represent individuals in felony cases for four years before being promoted to Homicide Task Force.
Juvenile Justice/Child Protection Division
Cook County Court System 1994-1999
Represented juveniles accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses and parents or guardians accused of abusing or neglecting their children.
University of Illinois
Juris Doctor 1991-1994
Bachelor of Arts in History 1987-1991
Licensed Attorney in Illinois since 1994.
Found Highly Qualified by the Chicago Bar Association.
Cook County Bar Association, Member
Chicago Bar Association, Member
American Bar Association, Member
Phi Beta Sigma, Member
American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) VIP Soccer: Head coach of Spring and Fall teams for physically or developmentally disabled boys and girls since 2013.
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Friends of Preston Jones
PO Box 3121
Oak Park, IL 60301
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Volunteer For The Campaign
We need volunteers – Cook County is a lot of ground to cover. Some ways you could help us elect Preston to the bench (besides donating money!) are by circulating petitions, hosting coffees or fundraisers, or canvassing with us later in the campaign season. Please fill out the form below and we will contact you directly to find out what ways to help you would most enjoy.
September 4, 2017 – first day petitions can be circulated
December 4, 2017 – last day to file nomination papers
March 5, 2018 – first day of early voting for the Primary
March 19, 2018 – last day of early voting for the Primary
March 20, 2018 – Primary Election Day
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A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.