Fiscal responsibility key issue for Republican candidates for Lake County Board District 1

  • James Creighton Mitchell and Linda Pedersen are Republican candidates for the Lake County Board District 1 seat in the June 28 primary.

    James Creighton Mitchell and Linda Pedersen are Republican candidates for the Lake County Board District 1 seat in the June 28 primary.

Posted6/16/2022 5:30 AM

The two Republican candidates -- incumbent Linda Pedersen and challenger James Creighton Mitchell Jr. -- running to represent Lake County Board District 1 in the June 28 primary each have public office experience, albeit in different venues and times.

Pedersen, a longtime Antioch resident, is a former Antioch Township trustee who has represented the far northwestern District 1 since 2008.


Mitchell, a Lake Villa resident, Navy veteran and retired water plant operator, has run often for public office.

He was appointed to two 2-year stints on the Lake County Board in the 1980s and also served on the boards of the Regional Office of Education, West Deerfield Township, Lake Villa District Library and Highland Park's mosquito abatement board. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. presidency, Congress, the state House, the College of Lake County board and, in 2012, the Lake County Board.

Pedersen said fiscal responsibility is a priority, noting the county board has held the line on property taxes and maintained an AAA bond rating.

"If the revenues are not what's needed, cuts in the budget have to be made," she said.

The forest preserve district also has acquired and improved properties in District 1 during her time in office, Pedersen said.

"The county board and forest preserve board have accomplished many projects in this time, and I would like to continue to accomplish more," she said of her reelection bid.

Mitchell said he's running because a change is needed in government, locally, statewide and nationally. He favors stronger law enforcement and supporting police "with funds, and policy that makes sense."

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Creighton said the Lake County sheriff's office needs more money for a modern facility and hiring more deputies.

He said being a county board member is not a full-time job and he would not take a salary or benefits, if elected. He advocates reducing fees and consolidating local units of government.

"We have an excessive amount of fees," he said. Mitchell also said he would work to "roll back" the county's 4 cents per gallon gas tax. Pedersen voted against that tax.

All county board districts were redrawn per state law following the decennial census and the number of board seats decreased from 21 to 19. The redrawn District 1 covers Antioch, Lindenhurst, Old Mill Creek and Wadsworth.

County board members also serve as commissioners for the Lake County Forest Preserve District.

Pedersen is vice chair of the county board's public works, planning and transportation committee. That position and experience on other committees during her tenure has provided a broad understanding of Lake County.


"The northwest portion of the county needs representation that has a good understanding of our way of life," she said.

Citing the impact on District 1 residents, she voted against new open burning rules and a new waste-hauling contract for the unincorporated area that went into effect June 1.

Pedersen also is on the policy committee for 911 consolidation. A new 911 center has been approved and is being designed, she noted.

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