Keith Bail is running for his fourth term as associate circuit judge. He’s been in his current position for 12 years and will be on the Aug. 7 ballot as a Republican candidate.

What made you decide to run again?

I enjoy the job and appreciate the challenge of trying to settle peoples' legal disputes in a fair and just manner. I've done this for twelve years now, but before that, I was an assistant prosecutor in Boone County for 10 years.

Is there anything you would do differently in this upcoming term?

As I said at the candidate forum, the courts need to do a better job of addressing mental health concerns in our community. It's an area that's increased during my time as judge, and I think we need to do a better job addressing people's mental health issues.

It seems to be like more of an issue in our society.

What would you want that to look like?

We could consider a mental health court and help people whose mental health issues cause them to commit crimes and get in trouble again. A mental health court could give people some structure and treatment and help to stay with their current treatment plan. I don't believe we have funding at the local level, but that's something that would hopefully come from the state or federal level?

Are there any accomplishments from the past 12 years of which you're particularly proud?

I just think (of) the way I've tried to treat people with dignity and respect these last 12 years. I hope the public agrees with that assessment.

What have you done to improve day-to-day life for the average Cooper County citizen?

I think that hopefully, we've increased justice and access to the system in Cooper County.

What else should voters know about you as a person?

I'm really missing my eldest son, who's in Fort Leonard Wood basic training. We're missing him during this campaign and anxious to see him graduate here in October. I have two sons: Landon, 20, and Carson, 16.