As regular TA readers know, the race to succeed retiring Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller is a popular one -- six announced candidates so far -- and could wind up being a fairly expensive one as well.
As a county-wide office, it takes money to reach the likely primary voters, and given that none of the candidates have held any significant public offices before, to our knowledge, it's going to take a lot of coin to get their name out there. Most of the candidates, with the exception of federal prosecutor Scott Drury, are fairly well known in the Lake County Bar circles of lawyers and judges, but that doesn't count for a whole heck of a lot among the voting populace.
Recognizing that money is going to be key, GOP hopeful Louise Hayes made raising a lot of dough a focus of her campaign from the get-go. She announced her first quarter's worth of fundraising yesterday, with an impressive $130,000. No public announcement from any of the other candidates that I have seen so far, but here's Hayes' press release:
GOP’s Louise Hayes Builds Impressive Campaign Fund
Career Prosecutor Builds Six Figure Campaign War Chest
Lake Bluff 10/10/2011 — Louise Hayes, a veteran Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney running for the office’s top job announced that since she began her campaign for State’s Attorney in August, she has surpassed all fundraising goals. In less than two months of fundraising, Hayes has raised over $130,000 in support of her campaign to become Lake County’s first female State’s Attorney.
Hayes said, “I’ve always expected a spirited Primary and General Election and am so grateful for the almost 150 people that have made donations to my campaign fund. Our strong fundraising shows that I am capable of putting together a strong campaign, one that will bring me to victory and allow me to continue my passion, working on behalf of justice and victims’ rights.”
Hayes stands apart from the GOP pack in other ways also. She is the only Republican candidate that has spent her entire career as a prosecutor. She has prosecuted hundreds of cases on behalf of the people of Lake County and has a thorough understanding of the justice system.
Currently she works in the Mental Health Court, the Veterans' Court, and runs the Grand Jury. Each Grand Jury meets weekly for four months, and indicts those charged with murder, sexual assaults, weapons violations, and numerous other violent or property offenses. Hayes recently extradited from Mexico a fugitive who is awaiting trial on a murder charge in Lake County.
In addition to keeping the office running within budget and ensuring justice, Hayes also has set goals to:
• Continue excellent programs run by the office including the Lake County Domestic Violence Council, the Lake County Children’s' Advocacy Center, and the Major Crash Assistance Team.
• Reallocate funds to the Cyber Crime Division. This division of the office prosecutes criminals who misuse the internet, for example those who prey on young children.
• Protect the ever-growing elderly population from abuse, by continued collaboration with outside Lake County agencies. This includes continued training of law enforcement personnel to recognize the abuse that elders suffer at the hands of others.
• Implement a post-conviction review board made up of attorneys, law enforcement personnel, scientists, and other representatives of the community.
Hayes is a graduate of Stevenson High School, and currently lives in Lake Bluff. She is a graduate of Purdue University and of John Marshall Law School. She and her husband have been married for close to 25 years and have four children, all educated in Lake County's public schools.