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updated: 3/21/2012 3:28 PM

Kennedy, Nerheim win Lake County state's attorney's primaries

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  • Mike Nerheim Republican candidate for Lake State's Attorney.

      Mike Nerheim Republican candidate for Lake State's Attorney.

  • Chris Kennedy Democrat candidate for Lake State's Attorney, Lake County.

      Chris Kennedy Democrat candidate for Lake State's Attorney, Lake County.


Former prosecutors who promised to restore public confidence in the Lake County state's attorney's office won their party nominations to succeed retiring Michael Waller.

With all 415 precincts reporting, unofficial results show Democrat Christopher Kennedy and Republican Mike Nerheim with primary victories. They'll face each other in the November general election.

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"I'm honored to have the nomination," said Kennedy, of Libertyville who served four years as a Lake County prosecutor. "The voters have endorsed my vision for reform and real leadership for the state's attorney's office."

Kennedy had 14,945 votes to defeat Mundelein attorney Karen Boyd Williams, with 7,385 votes, and assistant state's attorney Reginald Matthews with 3,629 votes.

Nerheim, an attorney in private practice who served as a Lake County prosecutor from 1999 until 2007, led Republicans with 22,012 votes. He praised his campaign team's efforts and his opponents.

"It was a long, hard fight. The November election is going to be a tough one," said Nerheim. "My number one goal is to restore the public's trust and confidence in the state's attorney's office."

Lake County prosecutor Louise Hayes was second with 14,409 votes, edging Lake Barrington attorney Bryan R. Winter with 14,178 votes.

The race was dominated by concerns about setbacks in high profile involving Jerry Hobbs and Juan Rivera.

Staff writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.

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