Amato appears to win state’s attorney as of election night

By Jacob Baker

DeKALB — Incumbent Republican Rick Amato appears to have won the DeKalb County State’s Attorney race after beating out Democratic candidate Anna M. Wilhelmi by 7,000 votes on election night.

Amato appears to have won DeKalb County with 26,685 votes against Wilhelmi with 19,685 votes on election night, according to the DeKalb County election site.

Amato’s goals for his second term as State’s Attorney are to establish a complete countywide domestic violence protocol and investigation plan, develop programs to build hope in youth affected by trauma, partner with local and federal law enforcement to focus on serious crimes to enhance public safety and develop programs to reduce recidivism and change criminal behavior, according to Amato’s website. 

In his first term, Amato initiated a full felony review for all felony charges, developed the felony diversion program, installed a Veteran’s program in partnership with the DeKalb County Veteran’s Commission and Hines VA and created the HOPE drug rehabilitation program with the DeKalb Police Department, according to Amato’s website.

 “Since taking office four years ago, the initiatives and programs we have implemented focus on community safety by holding accountable our county’s most violent offenders and working to reduce recidivism in lower-level offenders,” Amato said in an Oct. 27 Northern Star Article. “We have added programs such as our felony review program, the felony diversion program, the Stacia Hollinshead Veterans program and the HOPE program with the DeKalb Police Department. I seek a second term as State’s Attorney to continue this work. Our work will continue on these programs and build new ones.” 

Amato is an NIU alumnus with magna cum laude honors and is also a graduate of the John Marshall Law School. Amato has been a practicing lawyer since 2003 and has been a DeKalb resident since 2005 where his family lives in Sycamore, according to Amato’s website. 

“I have built my entire 17-year legal career around DeKalb County. I have served our community as an assistant state’s attorney, private legal counsel, and as the DeKalb County State’s Attorney.” Amato said in an Oct. 27 Northern Star article. “Serving in these roles has allowed me to not only learn how to practice law in our courthouse but to genuinely know our community and our community’s needs.”

Mail-in ballots have to be postmarked before or on Nov. 3 and must arrive by Nov. 17 to be counted.