A businessman from Round Lake is the latest Republican candidate to announce a run for the Lake County Board's District 16 seat.
Rene Hernandez Jr. is slated to face off against Grayslake Elementary District 46 board member Michael Carbone in the March primary.
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Democrat Terry Wilke of Round Lake Beach is the incumbent board member for the district, which includes Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park and Hainesville.
A childhood immigrant from Mexico, Hernandez said he has been a Round Lake resident for most of his life. He lists himself as a community advocate for Hispanics and Republicans, a former member of the state of Illinois' Latino Family Commission, and he also served on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's Latino advisory board.
Hernandez also said he holds a membership in the nonpartisan United Neighborhood Organization's Metropolitan Leadership Institute and has taught U.S. citizenship classes for the nonprofit group Childserve in Round Lake.
"I have lived my life in Round Lake and credit my values and education from this community with my success in life," he said. "We need true leadership in the 16th district on the county level. We need someone who can communicate effectively and relate to the entire 16th district."
Hernandez, a senior sales representative, is a former Round Lake Area Library Board trustee, founder of the Illinois Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Lake County, and delegate to the 2008 Illinois Republican State Convention for Lake County.
"We face large challenges in the future, but with planning they can be overcome," he said. "This is the time to start working as an advocate for Lake County with the state legislature. This is the time to start improving operating models to provide help to Lake County's residents in the future in an efficient and cost-effective manner."