Steve Carlson appears headed to victory in District 7 Lake County Board primary

  • Steve Carlson

    Steve Carlson

Updated 3/17/2020 10:04 PM

Incumbent Steve Carlson appears to have defeated challenger Greg Garner in the Republican primary race for the Lake County Board District 7 seat.

With 100 percent of election-day precincts reporting, Carlson led Garner 495 votes to 251 votes in unofficial tallies Tuesday night. The totals do not include early voting, vote-by-mail or provisional ballots at this time.


Carlson, of Grandwood Park, has held the seat since 2002. He advances to the November general election to face Democrat Carissa Casbon of Warren Township, who ran unopposed in the primary.

"I am very grateful and humbled," Carlson said Tuesday night. "I think it is a ratification of my efforts to put politics aside and work for the benefit of all the people of Lake County."

The race between Carlson, a retired consultant in medical data analysis, and Garner, a retired pharmaceutical salesman and longtime Gurnee resident and village trustee, was low key.

As he has in past campaigns, Carlson has run on his record and emphasized a willingness to listen to and respect both sides of an issue. He has described himself as a moderate Republican.

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During his tenure, Carlson has pursued projects related to the health of Lake County residents and its natural resources and worked with Democrats on important projects.

The fight to save the Winchester House skilled nursing facility, an initiative to make Lake County smoke free and bringing Lake Michigan water to the northwest portion of District 7 have been among his proudest achievements, he said during the campaign.

Most recently, Carlson, who chairs the health and human services committee, noted his three-year effort to launch 211 Lake County, a 24-hour information and referral hotline designed to assist callers with issues ranging from housing to mental health.

Garner was appointed to the Gurnee village board in 2005 and then elected to four consecutive terms. He has two years remaining in his current term.

Garner said Tuesday his county board bid was a good race.

"I take my hat off to Steve," Garner said. "I'm thankful we live in a county where the people have a choice. We need good people to run for government positions which is why I continue to run."

District 7 includes portions of Gurnee, Third Lake and surrounding unincorporated areas. County board members also serve as commissioners of the Lake County Forest Preserve District.

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