Waukegan, IL – Today at 3pm, the Lake County Clerk’s office updated election results with over 30,000 vote-by-mail (“VBM”) ballots. Democratic candidate for Lake County State’s Attorney, Eric Rinehart, expanded his lead to more than 11,000 votes over incumbent Michael Nerheim. With approximately 15,000 ballots remaining, and a consistent pattern of VBM ballots strongly favoring Rinehart, it is now apparent that Rinehart will be the next State’s Attorney for Lake County. This afternoon, Michael Nerheim called Rinehart to congratulate him on his victory.
“This afternoon, Michael Nerheim called to congratulate me on winning this election. Although there are still ballots remaining, it is apparent that when the vote count is over, we will win the election.
“Michael Nerheim has been a dedicated public servant for many years, and I want to extend my gratitude to him for his work and his gracious phone call. I look forward to working with him in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition that will benefit the office and the people of Lake County.
“Lake County is beautiful and diverse. The people have made it clear that they want a transparent State’s Attorney Office that is dedicated to ending racial and economic injustice while also effectively fighting crime and its root causes.
“I want to thank my wife who has been an amazing partner in this eighteen-month journey, and my parents, who taught me the importance of giving back to the community so that all people could be lifted up and achieve their dreams.
“To my incredible campaign team, who have worked tirelessly to make reform a reality in Lake County, thank you for your guidance and hard work.
“Finally, I want to thank my supporters, volunteers, donors, and elected leaders who helped me spread the word throughout the county that now is the time for change.
“To those who voted for me, you have my eternal appreciation. To all of the people of Lake County, whether you voted for me or not, I pledge that we will have one of the most transparent and focused prosecutors’ offices in Illinois.
“I will hit the ground running by:
- Meeting with law enforcement leaders immediately to identify how the Lake County State’s Attorney Office can assist in fighting the increase of domestic violence and other violent crime during our COVID-19 pandemic;
- Forming a task force of prosecutors, defense lawyers, law enforcement, and community leaders to begin developing a strategic plan to address racial profiling; and,
- Beginning the development of a data portal to track local crime statistics that will be publicly accessible in near real-time.
“Every day, we will fight for all the people of Lake County with a renewed sense of urgency to tackle the problems that have confronted our communities for too long.”