Appointed to fill a vacancy on the Lake County Board this spring, Jim Newton on Monday announced he'll run for election in 2012.
Newton, 49, a Lindenhurst Republican, represents District 3 on the board, which doubles as the forest preserve district commission.
He was appointed to the seat in March after county board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt quit to serve in the state Senate.
Newton left a job as a Lake County News-Sun reporter to join the county board.
Toward the end of his long journalism career, his responsibilities included covering the county board.
Newton said he was approached by state and county lawmakers and GOP leaders to fill the seat.
The offer came as the News-Sun newsroom, like newsrooms across the nation, was shedding personnel because of tough economic times.
"I was watching our newsroom shrink (and) this seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he recalled.
Newton has never run for public office.
He said he always intended to run in 2012.
"I certainly didn't give up my career to be a placeholder," he said.
A Democratic candidate for the seat has not yet surfaced. Newton said he expects Democratic opposition and "wouldn't be surprised" if he has a foe in the GOP primary.
Because of population changes recorded in the 2010 Census, the boundaries of the 3rd District will change following the November 2012 general election. But it will still be located on northwestern Lake County.