In what turned out to be the most hotly contested Lake County Board race locally, David Barkhausen edged fellow Lake Bluff resident Rick Lesser for the District 13 Republican nomination Tuesday night.
When all 22 precincts had been counted, Lesser trailed by only 86 votes. However, the former Lake Bluff Village trustee couldn't make up the difference when the early voting ballots were counted, allowing Barkhausen to maintain his slim lead, 52 percent to 47 percent.
Barkhausen will face yet another Lake Bluff resident, Sandy Hart, who easily captured the Democratic nomination over Robert Glueckert and Anthony Solero, in the November general election. District 13 includes Lake Bluff, and portions of Waukegan, North Chicago, Gurnee, Wildwood and Gages Lake.
Barkhausen believes his positive, issue-oriented campaign hit home with voters along with his past record as a state legislator, Lake Bluff Village trustee and Shields Township clerk.
"I have a record that shows I have been taxpayer friendly servant," Barkhausen said Tuesday night.
He was surprised by the closeness of the vote, but noted Lesser outspent him in campaign mailings.
"I always tend to be overly optimistic in that sense," Barkhausen said. "I thought the margin might be greater than it was."
Lesser believed the backing of the Lake County Republican organization proved to be the difference he couldn't overcome.
"I think I was successful in getting my name out there, and I believe that was one reason why it was as close as it was," Lesser said. "I did everything I could do, so I can walk away satisfied at that."
Lesser also lost 40 pounds in the process while walking the district meeting voters.
Back in 2003, Barkhausen said he was approached three times by the Village Caucus to run for the Lake Bluff Village Board and finally decided to return to public office life after serving in the State senate from 1983-1997.
"That wet my appetite to wanting to make a contribution at the local level," Barkhausen said.
See below for final polling numbers. You may also check all voting results within Lake County on the county clerk's website.
LAKE COUNTY BOARD- DISTRICT 13 (22/22 precincts reporting)Candidate Percentage Total votes Rick Lesser