Matekaitis returns as State’s Attorney

By Dave Gomez

When Ron Matekaitis ran for DeKalb County State’s Attorney in 1996, he lost by a margin of 19 votes out of more than 20,000 total.

Election night this year was an entirely different scenario for the Democratic incumbent as he won his second term by a comfortable margin against Republican challenger Clay Campbell.

Matekaitis took 59.7 percent, or 19,696 votes, while Campbell received 40.1 percent, or 13,212 votes, with 88.9 percent of precincts reporting.

“There has been no call [from Campbell], but as far as I’m concerned the race has been decided,” Matekaitis said, as of 11 p.m. Tuesday. “The voters of DeKalb County have given me the chance to serve for the next four years again.”

Matekaitis said voters rejected Campbell’s negative campaign in favor of his more positive one, which focused on the issues instead of attacks.

“Talk about what you hear, talk about what you bring,” he said.

Standing before supporters along with his wife Leslie and children Sam, Jake and Luke, Matekaitis thanked his family, staff and supporters.

“You represent everything good about our campaign,” he said.

Marilyn Stromborg, former chairwoman at NIU’s School of Nursing and current assistant state’s attorney, praised Matekaitis for his administrative decisions, saying he made a policy of treating all defendants as equals instead of showing favoritism.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christie Krupp, who has worked for four different state’s attorneys, called Matekaitis one of the hardest working she’d ever seen.

Krupp said that during his time in office, Matekaitis established systems for monitoring and regulating misdemeanor traffic violations and court dates for police officers.

Matekaitis said the majority of his campaign time involved going door-to-door speaking to DeKalb County citizens as he did during the 2000 campaign.

“They’ll tell you what they think, good or bad,” Matekaitis said, adding that he was pleasantly surprised to find a lack of criticism of his office.

Matekaitis said his office would continue to focus on the areas of sex offenders, drunken drivers, domestic violence and juvenile justice initiatives.

Despite the cheery ambience of the event, the subject of Republican opponent Clay Campbell still rankled attendees.

“I think his campaign is very disingenuous,” Krupp said.

Krupp slammed Campbell’s condemnation of Matekaitis’ administration as state’s attorney, saying he had no experience in the job to be in the position to criticize.

Campbell’s promises of going to schools to speak about preventative measures for crime were also inappropriate, Krupp said.

“That’s not a state’s attorney’s job,” he said.

Lilias Pettit-Scott photo