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Loberg, Boles run for Pierce County District Court judge

March 11, 2010

Bob Loberg, of Ellsworth, and Joe Boles, of River Falls, are both running to be the next Pierce County District Court Judge.

Loberg has served as the Pierce Family Court Commissioner since 2001, and he has represented 23 towns and villages in Pierce County, according to electlobergjudge.com.

He explained that he vows to show respect to everyone in the courtroom and that this can be done in many different ways.

“The cornerstone of my campaign, and my guide through life, is respect,” Loberg said.

He said he will respect students’ schedules, should they have to appear in court.

“I will also work to eliminate the need for students who are contesting a matter from coming to court as many as three times,” Loberg said.

Loberg explained that another goal of his is to establish a diversion program for first-time traffic and similar offenses in order to keep people out of court when possible. He also wants to establish a community service program to enable creative sentencing techniques.

“Instead of the typical 30, 60 or 90-day jail sentence for minor offenses, which result in our county being over-budget on jail expenses to the tune of $400,000 annually,” Loberg said, “we could issue shorter sentences combined with community service tailored to the offender.”

He explained that instead of offenders sitting in jail, they could be doing something rewarding for themselves and the community.

In order to reach the students at UW-River Falls, Loberg has spoken to both the College Democrats and the College Republicans.

“I also intend to go on campus and meet with some of the students and faculty at some time,” Loberg said.

Joe Boles is currently an attorney and handles all kinds of cases in the criminal and civil realm.

“I’ve tried jury cases, personal injury matters, property line disputes, and I represent two cities—River Falls and Hudson—prosecuting in their municipal courts,” Boles said.

Boles explained that because it is a non-partisan election, the candidates can’t run as any party affiliate.

“When you’re judging cases, you don’t want to make a decision in a Republican or Democratic type of way, ” Boles said. “This is such important work; it starts with good, fair, honest, impartial judges.”

Boles is running for this position because he said he feels that it is such an important job as a public service, and he has 29 years of experience.

“I really feel the need and desire to do public service,” he said. “I’m putting myself out there as a candidate and basically saying to the citizens, ‘If you think I’m the best person for the job, you’re going to tell me.’”

It is very important for college students to vote, Boles explained.

“First of all, it’s your civic duty; we get the kind of government that’s voted in,” he said. “I think if students looked at my record, my history, my background and the type of person I am, I think they’d be interested in voting for me.”

Boles has served as the C h a i r m a n of the board at the Kinnic Halfway House and the UW-River Falls Foundation. He has also served on the Free Board Clinic, and he spent four years in the US Air Force.

He explained that students should take into serious consideration who they’re going to vote for if the decide to do so.

“You never know when you’re going to be a witness, a juror or be sued in a case,” Boles said. “As a student, I would say, ‘Who is going to be fair to me and listen to what both sides have to say before they make a decision?’”

Students, as well as the general public, can vote on April 6. All of the students that live in a residence hall can vote in the University Center, and they can register the day of the elections, explained director of Legislative Affairs, Alex Nelson. If they have lived in River Falls during the school year, even if it is off-campus, they are also able to vote. Other polling places are at the middle school and armory.

Tanya Wilson, senior at UWRF, has not seen any signs around town.

“I commute, so that might have something to do with it,” Wilson said. “I don’t vote here so it doesn’t affect me.”

Jeremy Swain, sophomore at UWRF, also has not seen or heard anything about the two candidates.

“I would be interested in hearing what the candidates’ points of view are,” Swain said. “If I know more details, I would vote.”