Provost & Academic Vice President

Judicial Campaigns Panelists


Heidi Benson

Heidi Benson

Heidi Benson grew up in the Central Illinois farming community of Stanford. After graduating from Olympia High School, she attended Knox College where she received a BA in International Relations. After college she attended law school at University of Illinois graduating in 1997. Upon passing the Bar Exam she moved to Macomb Illinois and went into private practice at the law firm of Flack McRaven and Stephens where she worked in criminal defense, family law and later as the attorney for Western Illinois University.

In 2011 she was appointed as an Associate Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. On November 8, 2016 she was elected to be the first female Circuit Judge in the 9th Judicial Circuit's history.

Judge Benson lives in Macomb with her husband David and two boys, Carter and Owen.

Brad Carlson

Brad Carlson

Brad Carlson has been managing campaigns in Illinois for over 25 years. His experience ranges from congressional races all the way down to the Township level and everything in between. Most recently he managed the successful elections of Judge Ray Cavanaugh and Judge Heidi Benson.

Kathleen Mesich

Kathleen Mesich

Hon. Kathleen E. Mesich, Circuit Court Judge, 14th  Circuit, Rock Island, Illinois.  Judge Mesich was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2002 and Iowa Bar in 2003.    

Education:  University of Illinois (B.S. 1998); Southern Illinois University College of Law (J.D. 2002); Member of Illinois State Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, Rock Island County Bar Association, Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce, Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Illinois Judge’s Association.  

Before taking the bench, Judge Mesich was a  private practice attorney and her primary areas of concentration included Creditor’s Rights, Bankruptcy and Commercial Litigation.   

Judge Mesich resides in Coal Valley, Illinois with her husband, Christopher and two sons, Ethan and Nathan.

Phil Hare

NA

Biography not yet available.

Sarah Darrow

NA

Biography not yet available.