Judge Preston Jones, Jr.
Endorsed Democrat for Circuit Court Judge
March 20, 2018
Preston Jones, Jr.
Endorsed Democrat for Circuit Court Judge
Primary Election 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 an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County, I represented people in every stage of life and for every crime. For the past 13 years, I served as a member of Homicide Task Force at 26th and California. 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 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. On September 25, 2017 I was appointed to the bench by the Supreme Court of Illinois. I am honored to serve our citizens as a Judge and work hard every day to make sure that all the people in my court room, from the sheriff to the litigants, are treated fairly and with dignity.
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 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 strive to treat everyone appearing before me with dignity and to 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.
Bar Association Ratings
Received highest rating given by the following bar associations:
Chicago Bar Association- Highly Qualified
“Mr. Jones has extensive trial experience and is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, legal ability, work ethic, and outstanding temperament.”
Puerto Rican Bar Association- Recommended
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois- Qualified
Decalogue Society of Lawyers- Recommended
Black Women Lawyers’ Association- Recommended
Illinois State Bar Association- Qualified
Asian American Bar Association – Qualified
(Additional bar associations pending.)
CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY
Judge 2017 – Present
First Municipal, Traffic Division
Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Flanagan Vacancy. Preside over cases involving misdemeanor traffic offenses.
LAW OFFICE OF THE COOK COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER
Assistant Public Defender 1994 – 2017
Homicide Task Force
Leighton Criminal Court Building 2006 – 2017
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.
- 23-year member of AFSCME Local 3315
- Conducted office-wide trainings for attorneys and investigators on re-sentencing 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
Juvenile Complex 1994 – 1999
Represented juveniles accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses and parents in cases involving the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, JD and BA in History
Licensed Attorney in Illinois since 1994.
Cook County Bar Association, Member
Chicago Bar Association, Member
American Bar Association, Member
Illinois Judges Association, 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. Coached 7th and 8th grade boys’ basketball team, Winter Session 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.
Cook County Democratic Party
Polish American Police Association (PAPA)
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr.
Congressman Danny Davis
Secretary of State Jesse White
Donate, volunteer, or both!
If you would prefer to send a check, the mailing address is: Friends of Preston Jones PO Box 3121 Oak Park, IL 60301 Please include your name, address, occupation and employer along with your check so that we are able to comply with all financial disclosure requirements for campaign committees.
March 5, 2018 – first day of early voting
March 19, 2018 – last day of early voting
March 20, 2018 – Primary Election Day
November 6, 2018 – General Election Day
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Paid for by Friends of Preston Jones
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.