Election: Today's hot races in Lake County

  • From left, Holly Kim, Ray Ladewig, and Steve Lentz are candidates for Mundelein mayor.

    From left, Holly Kim, Ray Ladewig, and Steve Lentz are candidates for Mundelein mayor.

  • Bryan Anderson, left, and Lincoln Knight are candidates for Wauconda mayor.

    Bryan Anderson, left, and Lincoln Knight are candidates for Wauconda mayor.

  • Thomas Poynton, left, and Alex Samoila are candidates for Lake Zurich mayor.

    Thomas Poynton, left, and Alex Samoila are candidates for Lake Zurich mayor.

  • Jeff Harger, left, and Terry Weppler are candidates for Libertyville mayor.

    Jeff Harger, left, and Terry Weppler are candidates for Libertyville mayor.

  • Roger Byrne, left, and Donald Kathan are candidates for Vernon Hills mayor.

    Roger Byrne, left, and Donald Kathan are candidates for Vernon Hills mayor.

  • Lake County residents participate in early voting last year at the Lake County Central Permit Facility in Libertyville.

      Lake County residents participate in early voting last year at the Lake County Central Permit Facility in Libertyville. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 
Updated 4/4/2017 5:59 AM

Several mayoral showdowns in Lake County have been the focus of social media debates and neighborhood conversations ahead of Tuesday's election.

Here are five of the more interesting battles:

 

Mundelein

Mundelein's race for the mayor's office pits incumbent Steve Lentz against Trustee Holly Kim and local business owner Ray Ladewig.

Lentz, who is finishing his first term, has boasted about the downtown revitalization project and village hall's efforts to attract businesses. But he turned off some potential voters by criticizing unwed parents and the legalization of gay marriage in a 2015 speech.

Kim says officials need to do more to attract and retain businesses. She drew controversy last year by holding forums about staging public protests and defending your rights when dealing with police.

Ladewig said the town needs new leadership. He was a longtime member of the village's planning and zoning commission but was fired by the village board in 2015 after publicly criticizing economic development efforts in town and the staff responsible for them.

Wauconda

Wauconda's mayoral contest pits a political veteran against a political novice.

Lincoln Knight, a trustee since 2005 who previously served on the local park board, is running against real estate agent Bryan Anderson, whose only government service has been five months as a police commission member.

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They're vying to replace incumbent Frank Bart, who isn't seeking re-election.

Knight has been among Bart's critics on the village board and orchestrated a 2015 no-confidence vote against the mayor after several public dust-ups. Conversely, Bart recruited Anderson to run for mayor and has campaigned for Anderson and his slate.

Libertyville

Incumbent Terry Weppler is seeking a third term but faces a challenge from former Mayor Jeff Harger in a rematch of the 2009 election.

Opinions on a proposal for 148 homes west of Butterfield Road, as well as the sale of the former Bolander Park for a townhouse development, are differences in what both agree has been a cordial campaign.

Weppler said the vibrant downtown and the construction of a second parking deck are examples of the village's strong business environment.

Harger said elected officials have lost touch with the community regarding development issues.

Vernon Hills

Roger Byrne has been Vernon Hills' mayor since 1993 and is running for re-election against Don Kathan, who works for the federal government in economic development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Byrne insists he still has the energy and passion to serve, but said this would be his last term if elected. He cited the village's top bond rating and his role in bringing Vernon Hills High School to town among the achievements during his tenure.

Kathan headed the Gregg's Landing North homeowners association and has appeared before the board many times on issues related to that area. He wants greater government transparency and term limits.

Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton wants a second term, but he'll need to defeat newcomer Alex Samoila.

Poynton, a retired sales and marketing executive and a former small-business owner, was elected in 2013. Samoila works in the financial services industry.

Downtown redevelopment has been a significant issue for both candidates.

Poynton said feedback from the development community and research indicate homes would be the best option to pursue at this time because new businesses need enough customers to support them.

Samoila questioned why a population target hasn't been developed for the area. He said a more solid plan for downtown redevelopment is needed.

Other races

Races for seats on village, school, library and township boards are on ballots, too, including crowded contests for the Woodland Elementary District 50 school board and the Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board.

There are a few ballot questions as well, including a $42 million building plan in Hawthorn Elementary District 73.

• Daily Herald staff writers Bob Susnjara and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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