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updated: 12/2/2013 8:31 PM

Lake party leaders wonder, where are all the candidates?

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The filing period for the March 2014 primary election in Lake County closed Monday with a whimper.

Of the 12 major partisan races that were included in the filing period, only four have two or more candidates.

Democratic or Republican candidates failed to surface in the races for six of the seven county board district seats up for election in 2014.

The lack of interest in running for office puzzled the local leaders of both parties.

"I really don't see the enthusiasm," said Pete Couvall, the first vice chairman of the county's Democratic Party. "It's hard to recruit candidates."

Bob Cook, chairman of the Lake County Republican Party, was similarly baffled.

"Normally, we have quite a few people that are interested in running," Cook said. "I'm not really sure what to make of that yet."

Seven of the county board's 21 seats will be up for election in 2014.

So will these countywide posts: clerk, sheriff, treasurer, and regional schools superintendent.

Of those offices, only the candidates for regional superintendent weren't required to file by Monday. A recent change to state law shifted their filing period to later in the month, from Dec. 16 to 23.

Of the countywide offices, only two are set to have partisan showdowns: Jeralyn "Jeri" Atleson and David Stolman are seeking the Republican nomination for treasurer, while John T. Krempotic and Jason Patt are Democrats running for sheriff.

As for the county board, only two primary showdowns are in the works.

The Republican race for the Mundelein area's 10th District seat features Terri Voss, Charles "Chuck" Bartels and Cornelius "Connie" Shanahan.

Likewise, the GOP primary for the Grayslake area's District 6 seat will feature Timothy S. Powell and Jeff Werfel.

No other county board primary races are contested. Many, including the Democratic primary for the 10th District race, don't have any candidates.

In those cases, party bosses can nominate candidates after the primary. Couvall is focused on finding a candidate for the 10th District race, which is an open seat because incumbent Diana O'Kelly isn't running again.

"That's a seat I think is winnable for us," Couvall said. "I think we'll have a candidate for that particular seat."

Cook believes many would-be candidates started preparing paperwork to run but dropped out. He didn't know why.

Some people may have lost interest when they saw someone else was running for the post, Cook said.

Frustration with politics may have kept some people from running, he said.

Filing paperwork on time doesn't guarantee a candidate will appear on the March 18 ballot.

People have until Dec. 9 to submit formal objections to nominating paperwork for most seats. Candidates can be removed from the ballot because their petitions don't have enough signatures under the law or other paperwork irregularities.

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate is Jan. 16.

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