Lake County's hot races: Lots of mudslinging - and cash

There's been no shortage of mudslinging - or cash - in Lake County this election cycle.

Candidates for county and state elected offices based here in Lake County have fired off often-groundless accusations at their rivals and spent large sums on mailers and ads in what could be close races.

Here's a look at some of the more notable contests.

59th House

The race for the 59th state House seat, which includes parts of Lake and Cook counties, has been a particularly ugly one.

Democrat Daniel Didech of Buffalo Grove and Republican Karen Feldman of Lincolnshire are running to replace Democratic state Rep. Carol Sente.

Feldman and her Republican backers have accused Didech - now Vernon Township supervisor - of failing to protect female employees from harassment. In response, Didech said he acted on complaints and fired two workers.

Didech and his supporters have sent mailers to voters that put Feldman, a former Lincolnshire trustee, on both sides of the abortion debate. Feldman says she supports abortion rights.

29th Senate

The 29th District showdown between Democratic state Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield and Republican Barrett Davie of Lake Forest is one of the costliest in the North suburbs.

Conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein gave Davie's campaign more than $300,000 during the year's third quarter - a total that exceeded all the donations Team Morrison received during the same period.

Even so, Morrison's campaign war chest swelled by nearly $231,000 during the quarter. Much of that cash came from groups representing labor unions, pharmaceutical companies and other interests, state records show.

Morrison has staunchly supported abortion rights and called for an assault weapons ban in Illinois. Davie said he, too, supports some gun control and abortion rights - although some critics have tried to paint him as an abortion foe.

The 29th District includes portions of the North Shore and northwest Cook County.


Libertyville Republican Mark Curran is seeking a fourth term as Lake County's sheriff - but Democrat John Idleburg stands in his way.

Idleburg, a Zion resident and former law enforcement officer, has criticized Curran for three inmate deaths in the county jail. He's also blasted what he called in a recent Facebook post a "culture of corruption" in Lake County.

Curran has said he swiftly launched investigations into those jail deaths and took action against personnel deemed at fault.

The candidates have sparred about racial diversity in the sheriff's office, too.

18th District

Fourteen of 21 Lake County Board seats are up for election, and at least one person who wins Tuesday will be a newcomer to the job.

Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, a Vernon Hills Republican, dropped out of the race for his 18th District seat after he admitted needing treatment for an unspecified drug addiction and took an indefinite leave of absence.

The GOP subsequently nominated Karimar "Kari" Brown to run against Democrat Julie Simpson for the seat.

Fortunately for voters, the race has been a comparatively professional one.

Both candidates are Vernon Hills residents with political experience. Simpson is a Hawthorn Elementary District 73 school board member, while Brown was appointed to the Vernon Hills village board in September.

Simpson and Brown have expressed concern about high property taxes in the county, and county board members' use of taxpayer-funded credit cards.

Republican Barrett Davie and Democratic incumbent Julie Morrison seek the state Senate 29th District seat.
GOP incumbent Mark Curran, left, and Democrat John Idleburg are candidates for Lake County sheriff.
Karimar "Kari" Brown, left, and Julie Simpson are candidates in Lake County Board District 18.
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