Sauer withdraws as state House candidate after scandal

 
 
Updated 8/7/2018 5:25 PM
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  • Former state Rep. Nick Sauer

    Former state Rep. Nick Sauer Courtesy of Illinois House Staff

Nearly a week after he resigned amidst a sex scandal, former state Rep. Nick Sauer of Lake Barrington formally withdrew Tuesday as the Republican nominee for the state House 51st District seat.

That paves the way for Lake County and Cook County GOP leaders to meet and choose a new candidate to replace Sauer on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Republican officials have until Aug. 23 to name a candidate for the election. They also have 30 days from the day Sauer resigned to choose someone to replace him in the state House and finish his term, which expires in early January.

The GOP can choose the same person or different people for the two roles. Lake County Republican Party leader Mark Shaw said he hopes to name one person to both roles next week.

Sauer, a first-term Republican representing the 51st District, resigned Aug. 1 after he was publicly accused of posting nude photos of an ex-girlfriend on a fake Instagram account and luring men into graphic discussions.

The Lake County state's attorney's office and Chicago police are investigating Sauer based on the woman's complaints. No charges have been filed.

Sauer has not publicly commented on the accusations. In his resignation letter last week, he said the allegations would distract him from fulfilling his duties as a state lawmaker.

Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, called for Sauer's resignation after the allegations became public.

Sauer, a legislator since 2016, submitted a formal withdrawal of candidacy Tuesday with the Illinois state board of elections in Springfield.

He previously had served on the Lake County Board and the Barrington Unit School District 220 board.

Shaw called Sauer's resignation and withdrawal "bittersweet."

"I hate to see the book closed on Nick Sauer, because he was a great public servant," Shaw said. "Hopefully he can come back at some point."

The 51st District includes southern and central Lake County and a small area in Cook County.

The Democratic Party candidate is Mary Edly-Allen of Libertyville. Independent candidate Jay Murphy of North Barrington also is running, but his candidacy is facing legal challenges.

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