Dems hold on to Lake County Coroner’s Office
Looking at election results at the democratic headquarters on North Avenue in Waukegan (from left) are first vice chair of the Lake County Democrats, Pete Couvall of Waukegan, Troy Kernin of Waukegan, Lake County Coroner candidate Dr. Tom Rudd of Lake Forest, and James Spencer of Libertyville. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 7, 2012 5:05PM
The Lake County Coroner’s Office will remain in the Democratic Party after Thomas Rudd won a close race with Republican Steven Newton.
Rudd was about 4,000 votes short with all the precincts reporting, but he was able to surge ahead when the early voting totals and vote by mail were added at the end. Rudd had 50.5 percent or 132,504 to Newton’s 49 percent or 129,822.
“It was a stunner,” said Rudd, who had heard early from another candidate that he was ahead in the early voting. He thought those votes would be counted first, so he was surprised that Newton was leading most of the night with 52 percent, then 50 percent, then 51 percent.
“We pulled it out,” he said.
Rudd, a retired pathologist from Lake Forest, ran on remaking the office into a medical examiner’s office and getting the office and staff accredited.
Newton argued that it should remain a coroner’s office while keeping up with advances in technology and bringing back the inquest, where a jury of residents determined a final cause of death.
Rudd said it would still be up to the Lake County Board and there would have to be a referendum for the coroner’s office to be changed into a medical examiner’s office.~.