This November your VOTE is more important than ever before!
Because experience matters!
Dora Villarreal Nieman is a first-generation attorney. Both of her parents emigrated to the United States from Monterrey, Mexico. She is a proud graduate of Alleman High School and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. She earned her law degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and then returned to practice in the Quad Cities. She began a general practice with Katz & Nowinski in Moline, IL and then found her passion within criminal law at the Rock Island County Public Defender’s Office. She has practiced law for over a decade and was most recently an associate at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, where she handled both criminal and civil litigation.
Dora was chosen unanimously by the Rock Island County Board as the Rock Island County State’s Attorney after John McGehee was appointed as Circuit Court Judge and was sworn in on July 1, 2019. Dora is the President of the Rock Island County Bar Association, a position nominated by past Presidents, and has been a member of the Prairie State Legal Services Committee, the Scott County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, LULUC and serves on the board of NAMI and the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Dora has also been involved in the community as a Girl Scout troop leader, animal shelter volunteer, and volunteer yoga teacher. Dora is bilingual, which has helped her assist our diverse community throughout her career.
Her husband, Nate Nieman, is also a first-generation attorney in Rock Island who has a long history of representing underserved populations and specializes in criminal appeals in Iowa and Illinois. Dora has a twelve-year old daughter, lots of pets, and loves reading and practicing yoga in her spare time.
When I was appointed as Rock Island County State’s Attorney in July of 2019, I knew that there would be challenges ahead for our office and for our community. But I never envisioned that, a year later, the world would look so different. We are now struggling to contain community spread of a dangerous virus while doing our best to maintain our economy, educate our children, and go about our daily lives. Against the backdrop of a pandemic, we have also experienced an inspiring cultural movement demanding change in policing and criminal justice, especially as it relates to Black Americans and other people of color.
A global pandemic, an economic crisis, and structural criminal justice reform each pose significant challenges, individually, for local government. As these crises have combined, they have been transformative for our criminal justice system. Shortly after winning the democratic primary, the courthouse closed for normal business. My office has been tirelessly working during the pandemic to ensure that our office still carries out its normal functions of prosecuting criminal cases and advising the County in civil matters, while also trying to safeguard the public in our courthouse, process cases in a timely manner, and lift up victims so they can still be heard even if they cannot set foot in the courthouse.
I have also been personally working with Black community leaders to determine how we can best reform our local policing policies and prosecution practices so that these are as equitable as possible. While I have been advocating for criminal justice reform since assuming office, those efforts have been accelerated recently and I look forward to updating the community on our progress in that area as time goes on.
Times of crisis demand strong leadership and a deep understanding of the problems we face. I am more ready now than ever to meet the challenges that our office faces. I am honored and endlessly thankful that the voters of Rock Island County have endorsed my vision for the future by nominating me as the Democratic candidate for State’s Attorney. I hope to carry that momentum from the primary into the general election and beyond.
Rock Island County deserves a strong, compassionate, and transparent State’s Attorney with new ideas that will meet the historical moment. I look forward to being that leader our community needs for years to come. I humbly ask for your vote on November 3rd 2020.
Rock Island County State's Attorney