Gurnee resident Mike Nerheim won the Republican nomination for Lake County state’s attorney Tuesday, with 43 percent of the vote in the three-person primary.
“This has been a tough, tough fight,” Nerheim said at his election party in Gurnee. “When I first decided to run, I knew I was not going to be party choice, I knew I wouldn’t be getting support from a lot of people in the party.”
Nerheim beat Louise Hayes of Lake Bluff and Bryan Winter of Lake Barrington for the Republican nomination. The other two candidates received about 28 percent of votes each.
“I had people tell me you can run if you want but you don’t have a chance and I want to thank all of those people; that didn’t dissuade me, that encouraged me,” Nerheim said during his victory speech.
Nerheim credits his nomination victory to the grassroots movement his campaign team created.
The campaign “was about working hard, meeting as many people as possible and listening to them — just good old-fashioned hard work,” Nerheim said.
Looking forward, Nerheim says he will be working harder to earn votes than he has ever worked.
Some of the key issues Nerheim looks to address include:
- Restoring public trust in the state’s attorney’s office.
- Streamlining the process for communicating with and counseling victims of crimes.
- Working more closely with law enforcement in the investigation of crimes and gathering evidence.
- Appointing a case review panel to review old cases and convictions.
- Creating a public integrity unit to investigate and prosecute crimes involving official misconduct, public corruption and fraud.
- Expanding the Cyber Crimes Division to combat the increase in computer-related crimes, especially financial identity theft and preying on children via the Internet.
- Restructuring the Civil Division of the state’s attorney’s office and maximizing the use of in-house resources
- Enhancing the training process for in-house staffers on everything from traffic through felony.
- Changing the promotional structure and career paths for office staff.
- Opening up the lines of communication between the state’s attorney’s office and the public.
“This is not a victory party,” Nerheim told his supporters. “This is just a starting point.”