Curran seeks to clarify comment about 'wrong people' moving to Lake County
U.S. Senate candidate Mark Curran is seeking to clarify what he meant when he said "the wrong people moved in" to Lake County at a state Republican breakfast event.
During a short speech introducing himself and his campaign to the group, Curran remarked about his recent close defeat in the Lake County sheriff's race, noting that he lost by just 137 votes in a race where about a quarter-million votes were cast.
"Lake County is not purple, it's blue, folks. I don't know, you know, the wrong people moved in, what have you," Curran said, as several people in the room began to laugh. "We need to change that and we will."
On Thursday night Curran posted a video of the speech to his Facebook page and wrote that when he mentioned the "wrong people" he was referring to Cook County "transplants."
"Obviously what I was referring to was a lot of Chicago transplants moved to Lake County and now Lake County has the highest property taxes in the state of Illinois," Curran told the Daily Herald on Friday. "The people who moved in wanted big government and big government spending."
Curran said he posted the video to his page after seeing that Capitol Fax, an online state news blog, had written about his speech.
Curran said Friday that he has a long history of working with and on behalf of minority communities. In 2011, Curran, as sheriff, broke from his party and spoke out in opposition of the Secure Communities deportation policy, which he said stoked fear in the Latino communities he dealt with in Waukegan and led to families being separated.
"It's not a good recipe for the future of America. It makes us a lesser country," Curran said on PBS' "Frontline." "Something is callous; something is hard with(in) our hearts in terms of that philosophy that we can't see through that."
Curran confirmed that he would seek the Republican nomination to the Senate last week.
Curran, 56, of Libertyville, said he was encouraged to run by people in the state Republican Party, in part because there are concerns no other strong candidates will emerge to oppose Democrat Dick Durbin's bid for a fifth term in 2020.
In his speech, Curran, a former Democrat, also blasted members of the Democratic Party, saying "they're heading for evil."
Representatives from the Durbin campaign did not return calls for comment.