Green Oaks nurse announces run for Lake County coroner; incumbent to seek re-election

  • Jennifer Banek

    Jennifer Banek

  • Howard Cooper

    Howard Cooper

Updated 9/23/2019 6:19 PM

Jennifer Banek, a nurse anesthesiologist from Green Oaks and a Cook Memorial Library District trustee, announced Monday she is running in the March 17 Democratic primary for Lake County coroner.

"I am passionate about serving," Banek said in a statement Monday. "The coroner position brings together my medical training and interest in serving our community."


Incumbent Howard Cooper, a Wadsworth Republican, said Monday he is seeking re-election. Cooper won his first term in 2016 over Democrat Michael Donnenwirth.

Banek is a captain in the Army Reserve and is a board member for the Illinois Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She also serves as a mentor through the organization College Bound Opportunities.

In her announcement Monday, Banek said health issues that can lead to premature death are an increasing concern and cited vaping, marijuana legalization, the opioid crisis, gun safety and ethylene oxide emissions.

"As Lake County coroner, I would be involved in efforts to ensure our community's health and safety, utilizing my medical and military training," she said.

Banek, who grew up in Mundelein, was elected to the Cook Memorial Library District board earlier this year. She did not immediately respond Monday when asked whether she would resign the library board seat if she were elected coroner.

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