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updated: 11/2/2010 10:45 PM

Republicans keep all three contested Lake County-wide offices

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  • Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, right, shakes hands with 51st District state Rep. Ed Sullivan while waiting for election results Tuesday night. Unofficial counts show Curran won his re-election bid.

       Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, right, shakes hands with 51st District state Rep. Ed Sullivan while waiting for election results Tuesday night. Unofficial counts show Curran won his re-election bid.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Roycealee Wood

      Roycealee Wood

  • Willard Helander

      Willard Helander


There was no sign of anti-incumbent fever in the contested races for Lake County-wide offices on Tuesday as Republicans held on to all three positions.

Sheriff Mark Curran, Clerk Willard Helander and Regional Superintendent of Schools Roycealee Wood were all shown as winners with all 481 county precincts reporting unofficial vote counts.

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Curran was easily re-elected Tuesday, taking a second term in office by a margin of 122,261 votes, or 63 percent, to challenger Douglas Roberts' 71,086 votes, or 37 percent.

"I have a lot of respect for Doug and I think he ran a good campaign," Curran said. "I am thankful to the people of Lake County for their votes and the people in the sheriff's office for their hard work and dedication."

Roberts said he too was pleased with the tone of the campaign.

"I called Mark a couple of hours ago and congratulated him on a good, clean fight," Roberts said. "... I wish the sheriff and the men and women who work for him all the best in the years to come."

Curran, who was elected as a Democrat four years ago but switched to the Republican party in 2008, stressed fiscal responsibility and effective crime fighting in his campaign.

Roberts, a Waukegan attorney making his first run for public office, said he would cut the command staff in the office and stop political hiring if elected.

Roberts criticized Curran for "political stunts" in office such as his decisions to spend a week in the county jail and attend the three-month Police Training Institute.

Helander enjoyed a comparable wide margin of victory Tuesday for another four-year term as Lake County clerk. Unofficial totals showed Helander with 123,176 votes, or 63 percent, to 72,630, or 37 percent, for Democratic challenger Laura Tomsky.

"I am very thankful to the people of Lake County," Helander said. "They obviously believe I have the right team in place and we are doing a good job."

Helander, of Libertyville, was elected clerk in 1994. Tomsky, a business management consultant from unincorporated Gages Lake, made her first run at elected office.

During the campaign, Helander said her office is using audio ballots to help voters who don't speak English and is using social media to get information to Lake County residents.

Tomsky said she had wanted to work at implementing a nonpartisan program to make an effort to specifically reach minority voters. She said more civic education programs in high schools could target low-turnout areas.

Some tension in the race occurred when Tomsky accused Helander of using taxpayer resources to promote her name on the official website for the county clerk and other materials.

Wood won election to her third term as Lake County regional superintendent of schools Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Dan McDermott by a total of 95,231 votes, or 53 percent, to 85,777 votes or 47 percent.

Wood stressed school safety and working with other government agencies to prevent violence and promote student health in her campaign. McDermott, principal at North Chicago High School, said he wanted to increase virtual learning opportunities and establish countywide education foundations.

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