Waking up to the Daily Herald endorsements this morning for the county-wide races, the re-energized Lake County Republicans did pretty well. We got three out of four, as follows:
Mike Nerheim over Chris Kennedy for State's Attorney
Keith Brin over Rupam Dave for Lake County Circuit Court Clerk
Steve Newton over Tom Rudd for Coroner
The only Republican not to receive the DH endorsement was Bob Bednar, who is up against long-time Record of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer.
A few observations. First, I will admit that I am quite relieved about Nerheim's endorsement over Kennedy. There's certainly no doubt in my mind that Nerheim is the better man for the job, but I was quite concerned that given the criticism of retiring State's Attorney Michael Waller on handling DNA evidence and the like, the press was going to tar Republicans in general, and Nerheim in particular, with what the press saw as the failings of the Waller administration, even though both Nerheim and Kennedy are former prosecutors who worked for Waller, and both candidates have been gone from Waller's office for some time.
I had little doubt about the Brin endorsement; I'm still scratching my head that the unimpressive Rupam Dave was the best candidate Terry Link could scrape up.
Steve Newton's earning the endorsement over Dr. Tom Rudd is a bit of a coup; I think the DH looked at Newton's prior experience in the office and they also mentioned 'temperment': which you can basically read to mean that they thought Rudd was a jerk.
Finally, it's probably no surprise about Bednar losing the endorsement to Mary Ellen Vanderventer. Of all the Dems in office, she's probably the most competent, and Bednar's signature issue of consolidating the office of Recorder of Deeds with the County Clerk's office did not appear to resonate with the DH editors; at least, not as a campaign issue that should be decided by choosing between elected officials. But, given the strength of the GOP ticket overall, I would not say that a surprise victory is out of the question for Bednar.
Let's see what our friends at the Chicago Tribune now have to say....