re-elect Michelle Courier

Boone County State’s Attorney Michelle Courier

By Shelby R. Farrell


BELVIDERE – Boone County residents gathered to support Boone County State’s Attorney Michelle Courier’s re-election and the harvest their funds for her campaign this fall.

The Harvest for Justice Fundraiser was hosted at the Belvidere VFW, at 1310 W. Lincoln Ave., on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Boone County State’s Attorney Michelle Courier faces re-election in Nov. 2016 and the Republican primary election in March.

Courier was first elected as the county’s State’s Attorney in 2008 and re-elected for her second term in 2012, but she isn’t the only name on the ballot for the primary election in the spring.

Tricia Smith is also Republican and running for the State’s Attorney position for the first time. She is a former member of the Boone County Board of Trustees, and she has worked as a Rockford police officer, an assistant state’s attorney, and a defense attorney.

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VFW Commander Greg Kelm

When both candidates announced their candidacy in June, Smith said what Courier has done during her time as State’s Attorney isn’t enough, and “those people … remain in our community and continue to commit crimes.”

Although Courier’s succeeded in suing the gang known as the Latin Kings in Belvidere in 2009, Smith said she wants to emphasize “vigorous and effective prosecution” of people committing crimes in Boone County, including gang members.

One-by-one the speakers at Courier’s Harvest for Justice Fundraiser asked the crowd “why fix it if it isn’t broken,” supporting Courier’s progress and her choice to not change the way she has been doing things since her first election in 2008.

VFW Commander Greg Kelm spoke at the fundraiser saying Courier “will never be part of the Good Ol’ Boys Club,” and what sets her apart is her lack of giving “special favors.”

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Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble

One of the most important endorsements for Courier’s campaign includes Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble. Noble spoke at the Harvest for Justice Fundraiser, and he said she “has the respect and support of the law enforcement family in Boone County,” though he couldn’t speak for or endorse Courier for all of Boone County law enforcement.

Laura Guerin-Hunt, a member of Citizens to Re-elect Michelle Courier as State’s Attorney, said hearing about Courier’s relationship with local law enforcement and her experience, versus Smith’s inexperience, makes her the better choice for the primary elections.

Guerin-Hunt is also a former member of the Boone County Board of Trustees who worked closely with Courier during her time on the board. She said Courier was the “most outstanding” person in that position in over 30 years.

“When I was on the county board, when I would go to conferences and talk to other members of county boards across the state, they knew Michelle’s name,” she said. “More than one said to me, ‘I wish we had your State’s Attorney.’

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Pastor Robert Kopp

Boone County is envied for having Michelle. People have seen the work she’s done against gangs, and they definitely noted it and wish they had the same thing happening in their county. I think that’s pretty impressive.

“To me, Michelle is a much harder worker,” she said. “She genuinely takes the job as a personal mission and not just a job.”

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