(Geneseo)- Sunday, October 13, a crowd of supporters gathered at City Park to cheer on Cathy Runty, the former Henry County First Assistant State's Attorney, as she announced her bid for the Republican nomination to lead the office.

  Currently the top felony prosecutor in the Rock Island State's Attorney's  office, Runty was born and raised in Geneseo, went on to graduate from The Ohio State University and University of Illinois School of Law. She has practiced law for 10 years.   Lance Camp, Vice-Chairman of the Henry County Republican Party, introduced Runty. They met in  law school and have remained "close friends ever since." He praised her "excellence as a prosecutor" in his opening remarks.   Runty began by speaking about her family, including husband Tom, and their four children, aged 10, 9, 6, and 4. She described her community service, which includes being President of First Lutheran Church of Geneseo, and a variety of roles with the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She is also the District 1 Chair of the Henry County Republican Party.   Runty was first hired by former State's Attorney, and current Judge, Terry Patton. "Working with, and learning from, him has been a great highlight of my career," she said. Among her assignments under Patton were DUI and Traffic.   But Juvenile cases would become her specialty and passion. "It was heartbreaking. But I knew what those kids needed, and I held the parents accountable," Runty explained.   Her platform for the office emphasizes bringing new programs to Henry County that would address specific needs, that she has seen work in Rock Island County.   One is a Drug Court, to get to the root cause of the issue of addiction and find alternatives to incarceration that return people to being productive and to get off of drugs.   Another is a Veteran's Court to help those returning from the battlefield cope with PTSD and other issues that can arise from combat. Runty pledged to work with State Rep. Dan Swanson, a retired Army Lt. Colonel, on this issue.    Runty also focused on victim's advocacy and domestic violence prevention, and prosecution, as priorities for her administration. Intervening with teens about bullying and domestic violence would help, she said   Also, better communication with the taxpayers. "A wide group of people don't know what the office is doing and what services are available," Runty added.   The Republican primary will be March 17, 2020. The first day to file nominating petitions with the County Clerk is November 25. Current State's Attorney Matt Schutte (R-Orion) indicated earlier this year that he was not running for re-election to a second term.