The challenge to replace disgraced Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller is going to be one of the more interesting county-wide races this year. As regular readers know, the county coroner's office has been caught up in several scandals and has been the victim of massive mismanagement under Keller's tenure. Whether the office will get straightened out under new appointee Artis Yancey is open to speculation, but he certainly can't do worse than Keller.
As far as I know, there is no indication yet from Yancey as to whether he will run for the office (assumedly as a Democrat) in 2012. But, meanwhile, Republicans are lining up to try to win back the office.
I received the following press release from one of these hopefuls, Steve Newton of Antioch, who worked for former and much-loved Coroner Barbara Richardson. Newton has a kick-off fundraiser coming up in June:
Steve Newton, of Antioch Township, is announcing his candidacy for the office of Lake County Coroner. He will be seeking the nomination as a Republican.
Newton has been involved in public service for the citizens of Lake County since 1991. In 2000, Newton was hired as a Deputy Coroner under former Coroner Barbara Richardson. After the retirement of Richardson and under the leadership of Coroner Jim Wipper, Steve was appointed Chief Deputy Coroner where he remained and served until 2007. He currently works for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
Newton is focusing his campaign on bringing integrity, respect and compassion back to the Lake County Coroner’s office. He brings hundreds of hours of specialized training and years of experience as an administrator inside the Coroner’s office to his platform.
“Throughout my seventeen years in public service, I have been afforded the privilege to serve the people of Lake County,” Newton stated. “During my tenure with the Lake County Coroner’s office, I had the opportunity to assist families at the worst possible times in their lives. Our focus was to ease the burdens that come with the death of a loved one and take every step possible to ensure families were provided the answers to questions that often surround a loved ones death expeditiously.” He added that, “Cooperation with area police and fire departments, as well as medical facilities and funeral homes across the county has suffered”, going on to say, “ I will make every effort to rebuild those relationships to what they once were when elected.”