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posted: 10/18/2012 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Newton over Rudd for Lake coroner

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Early on, the race for Lake County coroner grew heated -- even nasty. On the surface, the race pits a man with a medical degree against a former deputy coroner with a background in criminal justice. But there's more at stake than the question of whether you need a physician to head up the office. A lot more. Democrat Thomas Rudd of Lake Forest, a doctor, has some very strong opinions. He wants to do away with the office, replacing the elected post with an appointed medical examiner. And he believes that the position -- elected or appointed -- should go to a doctor, even dredging up terrorism scenarios during the primary to back up his stance. Using fear as a campaign tactic isn't new, but that -- coupled with his disdain for law enforcement -- calls into question whether he'd bring to this office the professionalism and compassion that it needs. Republican Steve Newton of Antioch, on the other hand, has the experience to hit the ground running and the temperament to be a reassuring and steady presence at the helm of a very difficult post. He aims to repair frayed relationships between the coroner's office and others in the county, and we believe him to be the best man for that job. We endorse Newton.

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