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Rockford: Associate Judge Donna Honzel filed 2,700 signatures on Friday December 1, 2017 on her petition to be placed on the ballot as the Republican candidate for Circuit Court Judge in the 17th District. She is running to fill the vacancy that has been created by the retirement announcement of current Circuit Judge Rosemary Collins. The 17th Circuit encompasses Winnebago and Boone counties. Honzel will run for the Republican Party nomination in the primary election to be held on March 20, 2018.

“I was honored by the outpouring of support that made it possible to file 2,700 signatures that were collected in only two weeks time. Signatures continued to come in after our petition was already bound and those additional signatures pushed the number closer to 3,000. The many people involved in this massive organizational undertaking reassures me as we head toward the election,” said Judge Donna Honzel.

Judge Donna Honzel graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1991 and began working for the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office where she handled every type of criminal case. In 1995, she began practicing law with Mateer & Associates, a high-volume civil litigation law firm located in Rockford. That firm became Mateer Goff & Honzel, LLP in 2010 and Judge Honzel was the firm’s managing partner until her appointment to the Bench as an Associate Judge in 2015.

As an Associate Judge, she has presided over traffic court and currently presides over all matters, including many jury trials, in the DUI / reckless homicide courtroom. This courtroom has the highest volume of cases involving both misdemeanors and felonies in the 17th Judicial Circuit. She also volunteers her time as a judicial representative on the Multidisciplinary Approach to Sex Trafficking Task Force.

Judge Honzel has practiced law for over 20 years in both state and federal courtrooms. She has successfully prosecuted 40 jury trials and has volunteered for service in a peer mentoring program where she has mentored young attorneys in Winnebago County. She has also participated in countless bench trials and arbitration hearings.

Judge Honzel is active in the community serving previously on the Rockford Dance Company Board of Directors, including a role as president and a member of the executive committee. She served on the Rockford Lutheran School board of directors for many years, including four as Vice President, three as President and two as Past President. She also served on the Winnebago County Bar Association’s board of directors from 2009 – 2011 and then was nominated by her peers in 2014 to the board’s executive committee, serving as 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and President.

Judge Honzel resides in Rockford with her husband Mark, a former Rockford Police Officer.

Paid for by Citizens for Judge Donna Honzel. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website ( or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.

© Copyright 2017 – Citizens for Judge Donna Honzel