Endorsements: For Lake County Board, GOP: Barr, Werfel, Bartels, Starkey
District 3: Barr
Republican primary voters will choose between Dick Barr and James Mitchell to replace Tom Weber, who is not seeking reelection.
Mitchell, who is retired and lives in Lindenhurst, served on several local governments between 1976 and 2006, including the county board in the 1980s. Barr, a Realtor from Round Lake Beach, makes his first run for elected office. He has served on the village's planning and zoning commission and police foundation board.
Barr would bring a fresh, community-based voice to the board. He's active in his community through a group he formed and runs, and stresses communicating with and listening to residents. His priority is reducing property taxes through improved government efficiency and educating residents about the tax process.
Like many county candidates, he supports sharing services and consolidating government units to eliminate unnecessary duplication. He favors a measured approach that weighs effectiveness, cost savings potential and accountability factors. He is endorsed.
The winner faces Democrat Anthony McConnell in November.
District 6: Werfel
This Republican primary contest features incumbent Jeff Werfel facing challenger Bob Bednar. Both are from Grayslake.
Werfel, who is completing his first board term after serving for 11 years as a Grayslake village trustee, says economic viability and government fiscal management are priorities.
Bednar is a veteran GOP precinct committeeman whose elected experience includes one term as a Lake Bluff parks commissioner. He says combating high property taxes is his main issue, and a freeze on tax levies at all levels is needed.
Werfel offers the stronger combination of experience and insight overall and he is endorsed. He calls for the county to be creative in encouraging economic development, to maximize public-private partnership opportunities and improve public infrastructure. He supports a cooperative approach with state, federal and local governments to improve public access and amenities in forest preserves. He also supports work on potential consolidation, including 911 service.
The winner faces Democrat John Wasik in November.
District 10: Bartels
Incumbent Charles Bartels faces Fremont Township Trustee Jeralyn Atleson in the Republican primary.
Bartels, of Mundelein, is endorsed for the knowledge and experience he brings in ongoing efforts to address critical issues facing the county, including financial management, economic development and transportation.
He is vice chairman of the board's finance and administrative committee, which has helped steer the county to a balanced budget and AAA bond rating. He is co-founder and chairman of Lake County Partners, the county's economic development arm. He is co-founder of the Lake County Transportation Alliance that builds consensus on transportation goals. He's also a business CEO.
He favors pursuing sharing services, consolidation and technical collaboration as ways to reduce government costs. He supports making forest preserves accessible and inviting to all residents.
Atleson, of Mundelein, also has served on the Fremont Public Library board. She says her background as a CPA will be important because of reduced state funding.
The winner faces Democrat Jessica Vealitzek in November.
District 17: Starkey
Incumbent Michael Danforth of Fox River Grove faces a two-way challenge from Wauconda trustee Linda Starkey and business executive Eleanor Sweet McDonnell of North Barrington in the Republican primary.
Our endorsement goes to Starkey, whose elected service in Wauconda and North Barrington has shown her ability to lead important projects. In Wauconda, she's been a leader in bringing Lake Michigan water to village, helped revitalize downtown and the lakefront and worked on marketing efforts for the village.
A small-business owner, Starkey says she will boost economic development by working with schools and groups to develop technical programs that will provide skilled workers to make the county more attractive to employers. She pledges to be "present, visible and responsive" in communicating with district residents and leaders through email, social media and in person.
McDonnell offers ideas to bring more jobs to the county. Danforth, who was appointed to fill a vacancy a year ago, is working to educate residents about property taxes. We urge both to continue these efforts.
The winner faces Democrat Maria Peterson in November.