Grayslake Democrat entering state senate primary

Lake County Board member Melinda Bush of Grayslake plans to seek statewide office in the spring primary.

Bush announced Wednesday she’ll run in the Democratic primary in March 2012 for the 31st Senate District. Republican Suzi Schmidt of Lake Villa topped incumbent Democrat Michael Bond of Grayslake to win the 2-year state senate seat in 2010.

Senate District 31 covers most of northern and parts of central Lake County under a recently redrawn boundary map. State senate seats bounce between two- and four-year terms.

Bush, who bested Republican Larry Leafblad when she was elected to the Lake County Board in 2008, said she’s seeking statewide office because she believes she can accomplish more for the area that way. One of her issues will be job creation, which she said requires working with businesses and finding creative solutions.

“We’ve got to find a way to bring these jobs not only to Illinois, but to Lake County,” said Bush, a former technology worker at Grayslake Elementary District 46.

Bush said she’s still forming specifics about her campaign platform, which also will include seeking a way to reduce the tax burden on Lake County property owners.

“I’m frugal,” she said. “I understand it’s your money I’m spending.”

Bush began her political career as a Grayslake village board trustee from 1990 to 1994. She was known as Melinda Willen at that time.

No other Democrats have to publicly declared an intention to run in the 31st Senate District primary.