Lake County Board incumbents roll
By Judy Masterson firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2012 11:22PM
Lake County Board District 6 Pat Carey (left) of Grayslake looks at results with Mari Eckerle of Grayslake, Audra Sprinkle of Round Lake Beach and Pete Mule' of Grayslake at The Vine in Grayslake. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:39AM
Lake County Board incumbents carried the day in Tuesday’s election with wins in all parts of the county.
District 6 incumbent commissioner Pat Carey, a Democrat and former mayor of Grayslake who won re-election with 58 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results, said incumbent successes spelled satisfaction. That’s what she heard in knocking on 3,000 doors.
“It’s not just our AAA bond rating,” Carey said. “We have a balanced budget, we deliver good services, and we’ve been extremely conservative with our spending over last four years, cutting back on programs where we needed to — and at the Forest Preserve (district) it’s the same.”
Carey said she worked hard to defeat challenger Jeff Werfel.’
“We run as Democrats and Republicans, but once the election is over we work together and we get things done,” Carey said. “People like that. We don’t have the divisiveness you see at the state and federal level.”
Other incumbents who beat out challengers to win re-election include Linda Pedersen of Antioch, Brent Paxton of Zion, Bonnie Thompson Carter of Ingleside, Mary Ross Cunningham of Waukegan, and Terry Wilke of Round Lake.
“I’m pleased,” said Paxton, a Republican who has served District 4 since 2000, and who defeated Democrat Glenn Ryback, mayor of Wadsworth, by a margin of 10 percent. “I always hesitate to figure out what’s on the mind of voters. But we do have a really good working board and I’m very happy to keep working with those I’ve been working with. People are pleased with the way the county board is running the county.”
“I worked hard . We both ran good, clean campaigns. At our level, we don’t engage in that other stuff. Glenn has always been cordial.”
In Round Lake-area District 16, incumbent Democrat Terry Wilke, a self-employed electrician who is studying for a PhD in economics, defeated challenger Michael Carbone, who, according to Wilke, enjoyed a $5,100 campaign donation form County Board President David Stolman. Carbone, a member of the Grayslake District 46 School Board, received publicity late in his campaign when it was learned he had changed his name in 2009, taking his biological father’s surname, and that he had a criminal record.
Wilke won with 58 percent, with 7,613 votes cast, according to unofficial counts.
“It’s been a really long, tough campaign,” he said. “I’m really glad it’s over. I guess we can get back to work now.”
In Waukegan, Mary Ross Cunningham easily beat challenger Joe Schmitt to win a third term. Cunningham, who won with 82 percent of the vote, said she wasn’t worried.
“I take care of my constituents very well — not only my constituents but the whole Lake County,” Cunningham said. “When they call, I’m there.”
Schmitt, founder of Former Inmates Striving Together, took his first campaign defeat in stride.
“The campaign for 2014 starts tomorrow morning,” he said. “We ran a good, clean campaign. I learned some lessons about building a better support team. We’ll be back in two years.”
Two political neophytes vied for the District 3 seat won by Republican Tom Weber of Lake Villa who bested Democrat Dale Kehr 56 to 44 percent.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out and representing our district,” said Weber, who owns a construction firm. “This is one of the biggest honors of my life — to help the county make wiser decisions for the future.”
Kehr, a retired Navy chief and resident of Lindenhurst, whose young teen daughter volunteered to knock on doors, said she was proud of her campaign.
“I ran because I was asked (to run),” Kehr said. “I gave it my all. But the voters the voters made their choice. We have to see how he (Weber) does in the next two years. Hopefully he’ll live up to what he promised the voters.”
In other races, District 1 incumbent Republican Linda Pedersen won over challenger Peter Grant 60 to 40 percent and District 5 incumbent Republican Bonnie Thomson Carter defeated Patricia Ferruzza with 58 to 42 percent.