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The following are Daily Herald endorsements in primary races contested for the Lake County Board in districts within the Daily Herald traffic area:

Dist. 1, GOPs: Pedersen

Incumbent Linda Pederson of Antioch faces a challenge from James Creighton Mitchell Jr. of Lake Villa in the District 1 Republican primary.

Pederson served on the board for 14 years, and his wealth of knowledge and experience speaks volumes. Prior to her board experience, she was a trustee for the Township of Antioch and currently serves on the County Policy Committee for 911 Consolidation. From Pederson’s Involvement to Establishing a New 911 Center improving forest reserves, she wants to finish what she started. She is fiscally responsible and she understands the county government.

Mitchell has experience on county council, regional school boards and as a trustee for the township of West Deerfield. He says he is running because he is unhappy with broad-based Democratic leadership. He lists many areas where he would like to implement change – policing, education, social issues, taxation and government consolidation – but offers no details on how. We are concerned that Mitchell may find it difficult to work collaboratively with board members who do not share his views.

Pederson has the leadership, experience and knowledge to serve county residents, and she deserves the chance to finish what she started. Pederson is approved.

Borough 2, GOP: Schlick

Three candidates are running in the District 2 Republican primary. Adam Schlick takes on David Spada, both of Wauconda. Cynthia Avino did not respond to our interview request.


Schlick is the battalion chief of the Wauconda Fire District and is a trustee of Wauconda. He says he is running because of his passion for public service and for bringing leadership, transparency and problem solving to the Lake County Board. His experience as an administrator over the past five years shows that he is qualified and has his county goals prioritized, detailed and well organized. Fiscal responsibility is a key issue for him.

Spada is a lawyer and has no previous experience in public service. Although he states that he is running because he has the right qualities for the job, he does not offer any details beyond that. He wants to eliminate unnecessary spending but does not detail how he would achieve this.

Schlick’s experience and well-thought-out plans make him our choice. Schlick is approved.

Dist. 2, Democrat: Killackey

Two viable candidates seek the Democratic nomination in District 2. Shawn Killackey of Mundelein takes on Linda Troester of Round Lake.

Killackey served on the Fremont School Dist. 79 school board. This is his first time running for the Lake County Board. Her experience serving the Mundelein community on committees and commissions, as well as her experience in school boards, allows her to work in groups, listen to the public and collaborate with others. After living in Lake County for 17 years, Killackey says he hopes to make a bigger difference on the board, and we believe he has the common sense and the drive to do so.

Troester is also a longtime Lake County resident and says he is racing to make the county more sustainable for the future. Now retired, her background in environmental and health sciences at Dow Chemical makes her a worthy candidate to tackle environmental and climate issues, such as stormwater and flooding. .

It’s clear that Troester cares about the future of Lake County and wants to be a leader helping the county prosper in the future. She is family-oriented, saying her grandchildren are her motivation to manage and prosper Lake County’s resources.

Killackey and Troester are thoughtful and intelligent candidates, and either would be a good choice. Killackey’s past experience gives him an edge and he is approved.

Dist. 3, Democrat: Nozicka

Charles Nozicka of Green Oaks and Wendy Meister of Riverwoods face off in the District 3 Democratic Primary.

Nozicka has experience in the county as a commissioner for the Lake County Housing Authority. He says he runs to impact residents’ well-being and mental health. He wants to put housing first, fearing that seniors and veterans will be left out of affordable housing. As a doctor, Nozicka considers mental health services to be ignored. He wants to bring crisis stabilization centers to Lake County to improve mental health care. And he hopes to improve forest reserves to keep residents healthy.

Meister says she’s coming to “examine the structural components of Lake County governance and transparency.” She wonders if the county council should be so big and if the members should be part-time rather than full-time. She also wants to consider whether the council should oversee the parks system. All are valid questions, but without previous public service experience or more details, we wonder how Meister would implement the change. She wants to improve accountability and transparency, and we applaud her desire to provide residents with a better experience and more information.

Due to Nozicka’s previous experience, we consider it the best choice. He is endorsed.

District 16: Ochoa

Two viable candidates — Round Lake Beach residents Yesenia Jaycee Ochoa and Esiah Campos — are seeking the Democratic green light for the District 16 seat. There is no incumbent in the race.

Both are political newcomers seeking to become the county’s first Hispanic board member — a much-needed step in inclusiveness and representation, especially for a heavily Latino district.

Latinos make up 50.6% of Round Lake Beach residents; 40.7% at Round Lake Park; 22.5% at Round Lake; and 22.4% countywide.

Campos serves in the Naval Reserve and is a pension analyst for Local 705 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Ochoa is a Realtor and Broker Manager at ReMax American Dream.

Both are committed to ensuring that Latinos have a voice in countywide issues and policies.

Ochoa’s experience working with mayors and other levels of government as one of the founders of the Hispanic Lakes Chamber of Commerce is a particular asset. It aims to push for greater accessibility to county council meetings and services for residents who are hard of hearing and for whom English is not a first language. His broader community involvement will particularly help him advance these goals.

Ochoa is approved.

District 18: Knijnik

Candidates Akrom Hossain of Long Grove and Sara Frederick Knizhnik of Vernon Hills both have prior political experience, making them solid choices in the June 28 Democratic primary for the Lake County Board District 18 seat.

Hossain is a Vernon-area public library administrator who talks about cutting county spending by 2%. He supports the creation of an independent commission to study the consolidation or elimination of services.

Knizhnik is a Vernon Township administrator who is also supporting a forensic audit of county spending to identify inefficiencies. She spearheaded the creation of a Violence Prevention Office at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. She is particularly familiar with the issues facing the county.

Knizhnik is approved.


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