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updated: 1/20/2012 12:39 PM

Lake Co. coroner candidates report campaign donations

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Four candidates are running to be Lake County's next coroner, but none of them has done any significant campaign fundraising, records show.

Of the four candidates, only one reported having more than $1,000 in his campaign fund at the end of the year, newly filed financial disclosure reports show. Two have reported one-time donations of more than $1,000 since then.

Two Democrats and two Republicans are running in the March 20 primary.

Democratic voters will choose between incumbent Artis Yancey and challenger Thomas A. Rudd.

Voters who pull Republican ballots will choose between Steve Newton and Howard Cooper.

The winners from each party will face off in the November general election.

Illinois law requires candidates for local, county or state office to file paperwork with the elections board detailing campaign donations and expenditures once they've raised or spent $3,000.

After that, a report must be filed any time a candidate collects at least $1,000 from a single donor in one year.

Disclosure reports are available for public review at elections.state.il.us. The most recent quarterly reports cover spending and donations made between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

Yancey was appointed coroner after predecessor Richard Keller was forced to resign last year following a criminal investigation. He formerly had served as Waukegan's police chief, and this is his first political campaign.

Yancey's campaign committee started the quarter with more than $1,631 in the bank. He reported a $200 donation from a Gurnee resident and $1,050 in non-itemized contributions.

Yancey also loaned his campaign $1,500.

On the spending side, reports show Yancey used $4,129 in campaign funds to pay for printing, signs, postage and other expenses.

Yancey's campaign ended the year with about $753 in the bank.

Cooper is a Gurnee dentist who has used forensic skills to help identify victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. He is making his first run for elected office.

Cooper started the quarter with $100 in the bank. He reported no donations or expenditures during the quarter.

On Jan. 10, however, Cooper's campaign received a $6,000 donation from the Acme Refining Scrap Iron and Metal Company of Chicago, records show.

Newton, of Antioch, is a court security officer with the Lake County sheriff's office and a former chief deputy coroner. He was fired from the coroner's office by Keller in 2007 after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a fellow employee.

Newton later married the woman.

Newton's campaign started the quarter with about $1,431 in the bank. He reported receiving $855 in donations and spending nearly $1,240 but many of the contributions and bills weren't itemized on the quarterly report.

One $300 donation covered the purchase of electronic files of registered voters and their voting histories from the Lake County clerk's office. Any candidate can purchase such records.

Newton ended the quarter with about $1,046 in his campaign account.

On Jan. 13, however, he reported receiving a $1,135 donation from a Congdon and Company of Zion.

Rudd, a doctor from Lake Forest, has not filed any financial disclosure reports with the state, nor has he registered a campaign committee.

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