Jeremy Karlin announces State’s Attorney candidacy

Galesburg attorney and former alderman Jeremy Karlin officially announced his candidacy on Friday for Knox County State’s Attorney in 2020.

This would be Karlin’s second time running for the office.

He lost to the incumbent John Pepmeyer by about 70 votes back in 2016, in a Democratic primary that without a Republican opponent would be the de-facto general election.

Karlin says that his primary focus on the job would be eliminating “dangerous plea bargaining.”

Specifically, he says the current State’s Attorney’s office has been too lenient towards individuals convicted of violent crimes and drug dealing.

“We need a state’s attorney who’s going to work tirelessly in the courtroom. Not just a paper pusher, but a person who’s going to have a hands-on approach. And, we need a prosecutor who’s going to lead a community-wide effort to reduce juvenile violence and drug addiction.”

Karlin has also represented the Knox County Board in their legal action against the State’s Attorney this year, challenging Pepmeyer’s hiring of a special prosecutor.

Karlin, in an email announcement, says the State’s Attorney gets paid too much to be merely an administration.

He’s pledging to appear in a courtroom regularly.

Karlin also says that he would publicize on a weekly basis what the office has accomplished, and what cases they anticipate in the upcoming week.

He says the state’s attorney should be more of a “visible presence” in the community working with different groups to deter youth from violent activity.

Karlin notes that he moved to Knox County 25 years ago to take a job as Assistant State’s Attorney under Ray Kimble and then Paul Mangieri.

WGIL has not gotten any indication yet on whether Pepmeyer will run for another term.

(File photo)