Crime & Courts

Judge Joseph Pedersen announces 2022 candidacy for circuit court serving DeKalb County

Recently appointed DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Pedersen, has announced his formal intent to run as a Republican candidate for the seat in the 2022 General Election.

Pedersen was appointed in the new year to take over a circuit court judicial position in the 23rd Judicial Circuit by the Illinois Supreme Court. The role was made vacant by the retirement of Circuit Judge Ronald Matekaitis, who will now serve as Pedersen’s campaign chair, according to a news release. If elected, Pedersen would serve a six-year term.

In a statement announcing his campaign, Pedersen said he’s spent more than 24 years serving DeKalb County, first as an assistant state’s attorney, then as an assistant U.S. attorney where he served in the federal courthouse in Rockford. He was appointed to the bench in DeKalb County in 2019 as an associate judge.

“I am honored to continue to serve the people of DeKalb County as a Circuit Judge,” Pedersen said in a news release. “My extensive legal experience and community involvement have prepared me for this position of leadership in the DeKalb County courts as an elected Circuit Judge. I will continue to work hard to provide a fair and respectful courtroom to all who appear before me and to render impartial decisions based on the facts and the law.”

Retired DeKalb County Judge William Brady will serve as treasurer of Pedersen’s campaign, the release states, joining fellow retiree Matekaitis on the election team.

“I have known Joe for over 20 years,” Matekaitis said in a news release. “Throughout his 26-year legal career he has demonstrated his commitment to public service and community involvement. He has proven during his time as an associate judge that he has the intelligence, character, temperament, work ethic and diligence to serve as a DeKalb County’s next elected Circuit Judge.”

Judge Pedersen currently presides over a criminal misdemeanor and felony domestic violence trial call and juvenile delinquency and abuse and neglect hearing calls at the DeKalb County courthouse.

He was originally appointed as an Associate Judge in 2019, and has served in DeKalb County courtrooms since that time, hearing matters including general civil cases, family matters, eviction, child support collection cases prior to his current assignment. He is a past president of the DeKalb County Bar Association and serves as a mentor to first-year law students at the NIU College of Law. He also co-founded and is the co-chair of the 23rd Judicial Circuit Pro Bono committee and is a member of the Illinois Judges Association’s pro bono committee.

He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in accountancy from Northern Illinois University and obtained his law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. Pedersen and his wife, Liz, reside in Malta with their two sons.