A Lake County prosecutor has become the second Republican to announce he's running in next spring's primary for a state representative seat held by Democrat Sam Yingling.
Rod Drobinski, 37, of Wauconda, said Friday he plans to join lawyer Gerald Dietz of Round Lake in the GOP primary in March. Yingling said he's seeking re-election and is not expected to have primary competition, which would lead to him face Dietz or Drobinski in the November 2014 general election for the 62nd House District.
District 62 covers all or portions of Grayslake, Gurnee, Wildwood, Grandwood Park, Hainesville, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Lake Villa, Libertyville, Wauconda, Lindenhurst, Old Mill Creek, Wadsworth and Third Lake.
If elected, Drobinski said, he'd be a financial watchdog and bring what he's learned as a Lake County assistant state's attorney to seek laws to crack down on street gangs, which he contends are at the root of a growing suburban heroin problem. Drobinski prosecutes drug and gang crimes in the felony division.
"I take pride in being a career prosecutor," said Drobinski, who serves on the Wauconda Police Commission and Fremont Public Library District board. "I have dedicated myself to making Lake County a safer place for families and our children. However, the laws and tools that we provide to law enforcement are erratic and flawed."
Another issue for Drobinski is the lack of a hospital in western Lake County. He told the Daily Herald that a "patronage" agency such as the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board should not decide if an area is worthy of a hospital.
Dietz, 44, did not return a message seeking comment Friday but has listed pension and property tax reform as top issues. Dietz, who lost to Keith Brin in the Republican primary for Lake County circuit court clerk in 2012, has said other priorities would include creating a more transparent state government, jobs and education.
Yingling, a Round Lake Beach resident, said he does not expect any primary competition, so he'll be ready for whomever the Republicans favor for the 2014 general election. He declined to specifically comment on Drobinski and Dietz wanting his job.
"My response is, as a full-time legislator, I'm fully focused on solving the problems of the state," Yingling said Friday.
Dietz was Avon Township's attorney at the time Yingling served as supervisor. Yingling resigned as supervisor early this year after defeating Republican Sandy Cole of Grayslake in the November 2012 election.
Drobinski and Dietz must file paperwork to land on the March 18 primary ballot.
Drobinski entered but withdrew from the 2008 Republican state Senate primary. State Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington wound up unchallenged in that primary and beat Democrat Bill Gentes in the general election.