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updated: 12/6/2011 5:05 PM

Six incumbents didn't file for Lake board races

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  • Melinda Bush

    Melinda Bush

  • Angelo Kyle

    Angelo Kyle

  • Stevenson Mountsier

    Stevenson Mountsier

  • Michelle Feldman

    Michelle Feldman

  • Anne Flanigan Bassi

    Anne Flanigan Bassi

  • Susan Loving Gravenhorst

    Susan Loving Gravenhorst

  • Lake County Board Maps

    Graphic: Lake County Board Maps (click image to open)


Six Lake County Board members haven't filed for re-election in 2012, potentially leaving more than a quarter of the panel's seats open for the taking.

Four incumbent Democrats and two Republicans didn't submit candidate petitions by Monday's deadline.

The Democrats are Melinda Bush of Grayslake, Angelo Kyle of Waukegan, Michelle Feldman of Deerfield and Anne Flanigan Bassi of Highland Park. The Republicans are Susan Loving Gravenhorst of Lake Bluff and Stevenson Mountsier of Lake Barrington.

Five of the six have opted not to run again. Feldman said she hasn't decided whether to run in the newly redrawn 12th District.

Because no Democrats filed for that seat, Democratic leaders could appoint her as the candidate after the primary.

The departures will come during an election cycle in which the board is shrinking from 23 to 21 members. That reduction -- and a corresponding redrawing of the county's political districts -- contributed to some of the commissioners' decisions to step down.

It certainly was a factor for Kyle, who would have faced fellow Democrat and political ally Audrey Nixon in the 14th District race if he sought re-election.

"She was my mentor on the board," Kyle said. "I did not want to run against her."

Other board members have different reasons for not running next year. One is Bush, who is campaigning for the 31st state Senate seat now held by Suzi Schmidt instead of running for re-election in the county's 6th District.

She's the only Democrat in the race and eventually will face off against the winner of a four-way Republican primary in March 2012.

"Running for the Senate was a risk I felt I had to take," Bush, a commissioner since 2008, said in an email.

The Republican candidates are Linwood "Lennie" Jarratt, Larry Leafblad, Michael L. White and Joe Neal.

Kyle, one of the longest serving county commissioners, has represented the 12th District since 1990. But the redistricting process puts his home in the 14th District with Nixon, of North Chicago.

Kyle said Nixon's candidacy isn't the only reason he won't run in 2012. He's working as a consultant for Integrys Energy Services, the parent company of People's Gas, and is pursuing other opportunities.

"I just feel it's time for me to move on and to seek greener pastures," Kyle said. "Things happen for a reason."

No Republican filed to run in the 14th District. GOP leaders can appoint a candidate to run in the November 2012 general election after the primary.

Gravenhorst has represented the 13th District since 2002. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Three Democrats and three Republicans have filed to replace her. The Democrats are Robert S. Glueckert, Sandra Hart and Anthony Soler, while the GOP hopefuls are Jay Krasne, Rick Lesser and David N. Barkhausen.

The winners of the primary contests will face each other in the general election.

Mountsier, who has represented the 17th District since 1996, announced earlier this year that he wouldn't run again.

The vice chairman of the board, Mountsier endorsed Republican Nick Sauer to replace him. Dan Quick and Mary Schoor also are running in the GOP primary.

A Democratic candidate has not surfaced.

Feldman, the 22nd District's commissioner since 2008, saw her district disappear in the remap process. So did Bassi, the representative for the 23rd District since 2002.

Bassi announced in September she wouldn't run again, saying it was time to "let someone else have a turn." Her home will be in the new 11th District, where Democrat Steve Warren Mandel is the lone candidate.

Bassi was among seven Democrats who unsuccessfully opposed the new district map in June.

Feldman did, too. She specifically objected to Deerfield being split into three districts, saying the lines were drawn as Republican retaliation for her speaking out about a land issue involving a former GOP commissioner.

Feldman didn't blame the board's Republican majority for redrawing the map in a way that potentially pitted several incumbent Democrats against each other across the county.

"It's no different from what (the Democrats) were doing in Springfield," Feldman said, referring to the controversial legislative and congressional maps state lawmakers approved earlier this year.

Although no Democrat filed for the 12th District seat, Scott J. Helton and Mike Rummel will face off in a Republican primary for the post.

The current board members' terms end in December 2012. The panel doubles as the county's forest preserve district board.

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