Primaries for sheriff, several county board seats on tap in Lake County

As has been her habit for many elections, Mary Ross-Cunningham arrived at the Lake County government center about 6 a.m. Monday to be first in line to file nominating petitions.

“I feel I always should be first,” said Ross-Cunningham, a Democrat who has represented the Waukegan area on the Lake County Board since 2002.

She was filing for the June 28 primary, as were about 40 other candidates in line outside the clerk's office in Waukegan. A crowded first day of filing is an election tradition as candidates try to land the top spot on the ballot.

All candidates for countywide offices, including sheriff, treasurer and clerk, file with the clerk's office, as do candidates for the county board, the North Shore Water Reclamation District and precinct committeeperson.

The filing period runs through March 14, and the waning hours that day usually attract candidates who want to be last on the ballot. The lottery for simultaneous filers for first and last positions will be March 23.

Monday's turnout included the usual assortment of incumbents and newcomers from both parties. Based on the filings, several primary races are shaping up.

Ross-Cunningham is being challenged by Keith E. Turner, a Waukegan alderman. Another veteran Democrat facing a primary is Diane Hewitt, who was elected in 2008. She has been representing District 2, including parts of Waukegan, Gurnee, Beach Park, and Zion, but was shifted to District 8 with the remap. She's being challenged by Waukegan Realtor Steve Snarski.

There also will be a scramble for the sheriff's post. Republicans Mark A. Vice II and John K. Van Dien II filed, and, on the Democratic side, incumbent John Idleburg is being challenged by one of his deputies, William “Chris” King.

Four years ago, Democrats for the first time in Lake County history won control of the county board and now hold a 15-6 majority. County board members double as Lake County Forest Preserve commissioners.

Districts were redrawn as required by state law after the decennial census, and the number of seats was reduced from 21 to 19.

That includes two new districts that have no incumbent living in them. Primaries are on tap for both.

In District 2, Republicans David Spada, an attorney from Mundelein, and Adam Schlick, a Wauconda village trustee and fire department battalion chief, filed Monday.

District 18, which includes portions of Vernon Hills, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Long Grove and Buffalo Grove, is the other district without an incumbent. Democrats Sara Knizhnik of Buffalo Grove and Akrom Hossain from Long Grove filed Monday.

In District 16, Democrats Jaycee Ochoa and Esiah Campos, both of Round Lake Beach, will square off in the primary for the seat currently held by Terry Wilke, who is running for state representative.

And in District 1 in the Antioch area, longtime Republican incumbent Linda Pedersen is facing a challenge from James Creighton Mitchell Jr. of Lindenhurst.

Candidate field growing for Lake County Board races

  Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim, center, waits in line Monday to file a stack of signatures during the first day of candidate filing for June 28 primary. With Kim are Democratic county board candidates John Wasik, left, and Keith E. Turner. Mick Zawislak/
  Mark Vice, Republican candidate for Lake County sheriff, was among the first in line Monday to file nominating petitions for the June 28 primary. He is welcomed by Lake County Clerk Robin O'Connor. Mick Zawislak/
  Incumbent Lake County Board member Diane Hewitt signs paperwork at the Lake County clerk's office Monday morning during the first day to file nominating petitions for the June 28 primary. Mick Zawislak/
  Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, third from left, and board incumbent Catherine Sbarra chat while in line Monday morning, the first day for candidates to file paperwork for the June primary. Mick Zawislak/
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