Rinehart seeks Democratic nomination for Lake County state's attorney

  • Eric Rinehart announced his candidacy Monday for the Democratic nomination for Lake County state's attorney in the March 2020 primary election.

    Eric Rinehart announced his candidacy Monday for the Democratic nomination for Lake County state's attorney in the March 2020 primary election.

  • Joe Lewnard/jlewnard@dailyherald.com, May 10Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim

    Joe Lewnard/jlewnard@dailyherald.com, May 10Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim

 
 
Updated 7/22/2019 5:00 PM

Waukegan attorney and Highwood resident Eric Rinehart on Monday announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Lake County state's attorney in the March 2020 primary election.

Transparency, a renewed focus on violent crimes, restoring confidence in the office and leadership in crime prevention were priorities for Rinehart in making his first run for elected office. He is the first and only candidate to announce for the nomination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"For over 16 years, I've been fighting for my clients in the civil and criminal courtrooms of Lake County. I have seen the system fail both victims and defendants," he said during the announcement at Lincoln Plaza at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan.

He graduated from law school at the University of Chicago in 2001 and worked as an assistant public defender in Lake County before starting his own practice in 2008. He is married and has two children.

According to a provided text of his speech, Rinehart said violent criminals are not prosecuted while violent crimes are unsolved "because we waste too much time and too much money pursuing minor convictions in victimless cases."

The chances of either a victim or defendant finding justice is "too often determined by your resources, with a disadvantage to those who are marginalized," he said, according to the text.

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Rinehart also said he would broaden programs that focus on rehabilitation over incarceration.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face incumbent Mike Nerheim.

"I have a proud record I'll stand on and look forward to serving another four years," Nerheim said.

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