Gebert, Lambert vie for new judgeship
BY MIKE WARREN
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Voters in Wood County will be filling a new Circuit Court judgeship when they cast their ballots in the April 4 spring election. Tim Gebert and Craig Lambert are running for a new District 4 position, created by the state Supreme Court based on a rising judicial caseload.
“I decided to run because of the new opening in Wood County,” Gebert told Marshfield Broadcasting, during a recent interview taping.
“I was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids,” Gebert added. “I’ve lived there all my life. I’ve lived in Wood County all my life. I attended St. Peter and Paul grade school in Wisconsin Rapids. Went to Lincoln High School, where I graduated. Undergrad was at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and then I went to Michigan State for law school,” Gebert said.
“I practice just about every area of law,” says Gebert. “I do probate. I do criminal defense. I’ve been the city prosecutor in Wisconsin Rapids for the last twenty years. I do family law and custody. You name it, I’ve done it,” he added.
“What a lot of people don’t understand, when they think of judges or lawyers they mostly think of criminal law. That’s probably not half the caseload a judge has,” Gebert says. “So, I’ve been practicing for 28 years now, and like I said I’ve done everything. So, a judge essentially is a general practitioner of law with a black robe, and that’s what I always like to say.
“I care about Wood County. I want to be the next judge,” Gebert added. “I think I am the most qualified. I’ve been practicing in every area of law that a judge will see. I’ll bet you I’ve seen cases that all three of our judges haven’t done over the years, because I practice all around the state. I don’t need training wheels. If I was elected, I can jump right on the bench and don’t need any training. So, I do believe I am by far the most qualified,” says Gebert. “I’ve done more than just criminal law.”
Gebert is running opposite Craig Lambert on the April 4 ballot. Lambert, also a Wisconsin Rapids native, serves as the current Wood County District Attorney.
“I’ve devoted nearly my entire professional career to public service,” Lambert told Marshfield Broadcasting, during a recent interview. “Being a judge would be a way for me to continue my service to the people of Wood County, but in a different role.
“And quite frankly, I think I’m the best person for the job,” Lambert added. “I think my background, my experience and my values make me the best person for the job. I’ve been a lawyer for 26 years. I was in private practice for five years over in the Fox Valley. I defended people accused of crimes. I represented people in other various civil actions,” says Lambert. “Then in 2001, I had a chance to move back to (Wisconsin) Rapids and be an Assistant D.A. So, Todd Wolf – now Judge Wolf – got appointed D.A. He hired me to fill his A.D.A. position. I was an assistant D.A. for about 12 years, and then ran for D.A. in 2012 and won. I was reelected in 2016 and again in 2020. I also served eight years as a Judge Advocate in the Army National Guard,” Lambert said.
“I’m supported by every Chief of Police in Wood County and dozens of other law enforcement officers,” Lambert added. “So, I think it’s that background and that experience and my values that make me the best person for the job. I think the primary difference between us is our expertise in criminal law. I’ve been the Wood County District Attorney for the last 10 years. I’ve been a prosecutor for 21 years. I’ve successfully prosecuted thousands of crimes – homicides, sexual assaults, crimes against children, domestic violence, impaired driving and others,” said Lambert. “We want, I think, a judge who is an expert in criminal law, and I can tell you that if you can handle complex homicides, other complex criminal cases, you can handle a probate case, you can handle a real estate case. That’s primarily why I think I’m the best candidate, because of my criminal law expertise and my support from law enforcement.”
Gebert and Lambert are running for a six-year term on the newly-created Wood County bench.