Haakenson announces he's a candidate for judge

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Thursday, December 1, 2011
— Outside of his actual home, Mike Haakenson said, he feels most at home in a courtroom.

He wants to spend more time there as a Rock County judge.

"Since coming here, I have been in court almost every day," Haakenson wrote in a news release. "I feel at home in a courtroom, and I believe I'm ready to assume the tremendous responsibility of being a judge if I am elected."

Haakenson on Wednesday announced he would run to replace Judge James Welker, who is not running for re-election. Haakenson is the fifth Janesville attorney to announce a campaign.

Haakenson, 49, of 2215 Purple Aster Lane, Janesville, has been an attorney in Janesville since 1989.

For the last 10 years, he has served as one of several court-appointed guardians ad litem in the county.

The experience of speaking for the rights of a child or for an adult who can't speak for his or her self is evidence Haakenson can listen to all parties before making decisions on a case, he said.

"I can't advocate for one parent or another," Haakenson said. "Those are sad situations, but something has to be done if what's going on is not good for the children."

This campaign is Haakenson's first for a publicly elected position. He is a member of the SpotLight on Kids Board of Directors. He graduated in 1988 from UW-Madison Law School.

Haakenson said residents should feel confident in Rock County's legal system.

"I'm concerned some people have questions about the fairness of the American legal system," Haakenson wrote in his news release.

"The residents of Rock County should feel comfortable and confident with their local courts, and if elected I will work to ensure the integrity of our court system here in Rock County."

Haakenson will run against Janesville attorneys Tom McDonald, Harry C. O'Leary, Tod Daniel and Jack Hoag. A primary election will be Feb. 21, County Clerk Lori Stottler said.

Candidates can begin to collect nomination signatures today, Stottler said.

Last updated: 7:12 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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