Former Lake County Sheriff Curran asking for a discovery recount

  • Former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, left, has filed for a recount in the Nov. 6 election won by John Idleburg.

    Former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, left, has filed for a recount in the Nov. 6 election won by John Idleburg.

Updated 12/7/2018 5:02 PM

Former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said he is just doing his "due diligence" in filing for a discovery recount to review the votes cast for sheriff in the November election.

Curran, a 55-year-old Republican from Libertyville, lost to John Idleburg when the final ballots were counted in the Nov. 6 election. Idleburg, 66, of Zion received 122,885 votes to Curran's 122,748, resulting in a 137-vote margin. Idleburg was sworn in Dec. 1.


Curran, a three-term incumbent first elected as a Democrat in 2006 before switching parties in 2008, filed the recount on Dec. 3, just under the deadline to request a recount, officials from the Lake County clerk's office said.

"I lost by only 137 votes out of more than 245,000 votes cast," Curran said when reached by phone Friday. "I am just doing my due diligence."

Lake County Clerk Robin O'Connor said candidates are allowed to petition for a discovery recount if their vote totals fall within 5 percent of their opponent. The discovery recount allows Curran to review up to 25 percent of precincts. Then, Curran could petition a court to order a full recount if enough ballot discrepancies are discovered.

O'Connor said Curran is scheduled to come in for the discovery recount on Wednesday.

"I have faith in the election process," Idleburg said in a statement Friday. "The people of Lake County spoke and elected me as sheriff. My focus is now on the sheriff's office operations and we are moving ahead with energy and determination to serve the people of Lake County."

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The election between Curran and Idleburg was a seesaw battle that took about two weeks to end. Curran initially was ahead by several thousand votes before early voting ballots were counted. The early votes pushed Idleburg ahead by a couple hundred, but a count of mail-in ballots shot Curran ahead again by about 750 votes at the end of election night.

Late-arriving and provisional ballots that came in during the following two weeks ended with Idleburg ahead by the final 137-vote margin.

Idleburg, O'Connor and Treasurer Holly Kim were all Democrats who unseated Republicans for countywide posts Nov. 6. Democrats also won nine of the 14 county board seats up for election, giving them a board majority for the first time.

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