Grundy County State’s Attorney Helland announces candidacy for circuit judge

Prosecutor will run as Republican for the opportunity to serve La Salle, Grundy, Bureau counties

Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland announced his candidacy for the judicial bench during a gathering Saturday at Ottawa’s Washington Square.

Helland is running on the Republican ticket for at-large circuit judge in the 13th Judicial Circuit, which serves La Salle, Grundy and Bureau counties.

If he wins the Republican nomination, he will join Judge Christina Cantlin, a Democrat, on the ballot for circuit judge position. Cantlin was appointed to the bench in March, succeeding Eugene P. Daugherity, now an appellate justice, and announced in June she will be running to retain the position.

Helland is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The prosecutor has worked in the Grundy County, Kane County and Kankakee County state’s attorney’s offices. He was elected as Grundy County state’s attorney in 2012.

Helland said although he’s running on the Republican ticket, he’s committed to fairness and impartiality as a judicial candidate.

During Helland’s time as state’s attorney, he said he’s instituted proactive programs on crime and hosting forums to educate the public on substance abuse. Helland cites establishing a mental health court in 2014 as one of his biggest accomplishments and he said he has been a leader in county government during the pandemic.

Helland credits Milton Pope School, Seneca High School and Joliet Junior College as an asset in his career, having received an education from those small schools before attending university and law school.

Helland cited his experience as a trial lawyer, having taken 90 cases to trial, from minor traffic citations to murder during his nearly two decades as a prosecutor. He said he gained experience campaigning during a 2018 run for secretary of state, a bid he lost to Secretary of State Jesse White.

Helland lives in Mazon with his wife Sara and his daughter Harper.