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Meet Joe

One of Us.
Fighting for Us.

Judge Joe is a husband, father, lifelong Illinoisan, and a faithful steward of the law. Joe McGraw has spent his career in law enforcement – serving as a prosecutor, private attorney, and judge. Now, he’s stepping down from the bench to fight to save America for the next generation. Joe McGraw is ready to take on corruption in Washington, and return our district to a safe, free, and economically prosperous community.

When it comes to fighting crime, no one is better at the job than Judge Joe. After completing his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign and graduating from the Northern Illinois University College of Law, he went on to spend nearly 20 years as Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division, overseeing a specialized caseload for gun felonies and PATH Court—a full-spectrum plan to combat human trafficking and support survivors. Judge Joe has dedicated his life to upholding the law because he knows that soft-on-crime policies only create more victims.

Joe McGraw’s expertise and exceptional leadership earned him recognition by his fellow judges, who elected him Chairman of the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges. Judge Joe also serves our community as a regular instructor for the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Trial Advocacy Program, and he previously served as an adjunct instructor at Rockford University and Judson University.

Early on, Judge Joe learned to work hard, love his country, and earn a living. Judge Joe’s father was an Army combat veteran and his mother served as a US Marine. Together his parents owned a horseshoe manufacturing business where Joe worked forging horseshoes. He knows what it means to sweat for a paycheck and have calluses on his hands at the end of the workweek. In Congress, Judge Joe will stand up to Washington politicians' reckless spending agenda that is driving inflation and crushing family budgets. He’ll strive to bring manufacturing jobs home, so everyone has the opportunity to earn an honest wage and create a better future for themselves and their family.

A man of faith, Judge Joe has always lived his life under a strict code of ethics, and he knows it’s high-time Washington, D.C. did the same. In Washington, he’ll end the corruption by banning politicians from becoming lobbyists, reining in the bureaucrats who nobody elected, and nobody wants, and ensuring Congress balances the budget before they get paid.

Joe McGraw and his wife, Gail, reside in Rockford, where they raised their five children: Kathleen, Elizabeth, Victoria, Margaret, and Joseph.

Judge Joe has consistently stood up for what is right and worked to ensure that our district is the best place in Illinois to live, work, and raise a family - and he’s ready to take that mission to Congress.

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Citizens for Judge Joe McGraw
PO Box 1451 Rockford, IL 61105