Spirited Primary Elections Taking Shape
Seventeen of 23 election contests will have primaries.
Campaigns for the March 20 Illinois primary and Nov. 6 general elections started to come into clear view today after the deadline passed Monday to land a space in the ballot for all races except United States Congress.
Of the 23 campaigns in the North Suburban Patch reading area, candidates will square off in primaries in 17 of those races for either the Democratic or Republican nomination. In three cases, primaries will take place between members of both parties.
In the contests for six offices, either the Republican or Democrat has no opponent however party leaders can still choose a nominee.
“We have a lot of outstanding candidates,” 10th Congressional District Committeewoman and Moraine Township Democratic Chair Lauren Beth Gash of Highland Park said of her party’s field. “I have a lot of respect for the democratic process and the hard work it takes to get on the ballot.”
Moraine Township Republican Chairman Lou Atsaves is enthusiastic about the Republicans running for office. In the past he conceded it was not easy to recruit candidates but there is abundance this time.
“I think it shows a lot of interest in public service,” Atsaves said. “In the past we have had to struggle to find candidates and this time we didn’t have to struggle at all.”
Candidates for the United States House of Representatives in the 9th and 10th Congressional Districts will have to wait until Dec. 23 to file their petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections because of a court order arising out of a challenge to the new map.
Retirements Cause Some Primaries
Some of the primary contests are the result of the retirements of state Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest), state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), state Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park), state Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa) as well as Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Waller and lake County Court Clerk Sally Coffelt, both Republicans.
The race to succeed Waller has produced the largest primary field of all with three Republicans and three Democrats fighting for their party’s nod. Gurnee attorney Mike Nerheim, Lake Bluff lawyer Louise Hayes and Bryan Winter of Lake Barrington are the Republican hopefuls.
On the Democratic side, Libertyville resident and Lake Forest attorney Chris Kennedy will compete against Karen Williams of Mundelein and Lindenhurst’s Reginald Mathews. All are lawyers.
In the race to succeed Garrett, Highland Park pediatrician Arie Friedman is the lone Republican waiting to take on the winner of the Democratic primary between West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison and Lake Bluff business consultant Milton Sumption.
There will be no primary in the fight for Schoenberg’s seat. State Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), who will receive Schoenberg’s endorsement Wednesday, will face Republican Marc Levine of Evanston.
There will be a primary contest among Democrats for the right to succeed Biss between Northfield Township Clerk Laura Fine of Glenview and Jeff Smith of Evanston. Kyle Frank of Skokie is the Republican candidate.
While Highwood attorney Scott Drury is unopposed for the Democratic nomination to succeed May, Republicans Lauren Turelli and Mark Neerhof, both of Lake Forest, are vying for the Republican nomination.
A four-way race is shaping up in the contest for the Republican nomination for Schmidt’s seat between Lawrence Leafblad of Grayslake, Linwood Jarratt of Round Lake Beach, Michael White of Lindenhurst and Joe Neal of Wadsworth. Lake County Board Member Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is unopposed for her party’s nomination.
Two Republicans, Don Castella of Lincolnshire and Gregory Jacobs of Mundelein, will face off March 20 for the opportunity to challenge state Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan).
Two Republicans, Keith Brin of Highland Park and Gerald Dietz of Round Lake, will compete for the right to face Democrat Cynthia Haran of Round Lake to become Lake Court Clerk when Coffelt retires.
Some Incumbents Face Primary Challenges
Primary battles are also shaping up on both sides in the campaign for Lake County Coroner. Thomas Rudd of Lake Forest is challenging incumbent Artis Yancey for the Democratic nomination while Steve Newton of Antioch and Howard Cooper of Gurnee seek the Republican nod.
In the race for Lake County Recorder Marty Blumenthal of Highland Park and Bob Bednor of Mundelein will compete for the Republican nomination to take on incumbent Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer of Waukegan.
As a result of redistricting in May, two members of the Illinois General Assembly will campaign against each other in the 59th district. State Rep. Sid Mathias (R-Buffalo Grove) and state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) are the contestants there.
In other contest for the Illinois General Assembly where there is no primary, state Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) is running against Jonathan Greenberg of Northbrook for the 57th District seat.
State Rep. Sandy Cole (R-Grayslake) will compete against Democrat Sam Yingling in the 62nd District.
In elections for the Lake County Board, a number of primary fights are taking place. County Board Member Pat Carey (D-Grayslake) will compete for her party’s nomination with Eric Lake of Grayslake with the winner facing Republican Jeff Werfel of Grayslake in the 6th District.
In the 12th District, the primary may be the general election as there is no Democrat currently running. The Republican primary pits former Lake Forest Mayor Mike Rummel against Scott Helton of Lake Forest.
A major battle is shaping up on both sides in the 13th District which stretches from Lake Bluff through Grayslake.
On the Republican side, Lake Bluff Village Board members Rick Lesser and Dave Barkhausen will join Jay Krasne of Gurnee in the fight for the nomination. On the Democratic ticket, Sandra Hart of Lake Bluff, Robert Glueckert of Grayslake and Anthony Solar of Waukegan are facing off.
In the 15th District, Carol Calabresa and Dan Donohue, both of Libertyville, will battle in the Republican primary for the opportunity to challenge Democrat Del Parra of Libertyville for the seat.
In the 21st District, Democrat Arlene Hickory of Lake Bluff will await the outcome of the Republican primary between Ann Maine of Lincolnshire, Robert Haraden of Libertyville and Douglas Bennett of Deerfield to learn her general election opponent.
Unopposed for reelection so far are state Rep. Robyn Gable (D-Evanston), state Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein), Lake County Board President David Stolman (R-Buffalo Grove), North Shore Sanitary District Trustee Thomas Sworthout (R-Lake Forest) and North Shore Sanitary District President Daniel Pierce (D-Highland Park).
Highland Park City Councilman Steve Mandel is the Democratic Candidate for the District 11 Lake County Board seat and is also unopposed.