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List of Lake County State’s Attorney Candidates Expands

Winter joins Kennedy in race; incumbent Waller has made no decision about his future.

The field of candidates to become Lake County’s state’s attorney grew by one Tuesday when Waukegan attorney and Lake Barrington resident said he would seek the Republican nomination for the job held by longtime incumbent . 

Waller, also a Republican, has not said whether he would seek another term. He did not return calls to Patch on Tuesday for comment. Winter said he made his decision anticipating the position would be open.

Lake Forest lawyer and Libertyville resident announced his candidacy for the Democratic nod Thursday. 

While Kennedy has specifically criticized the lack of a conviction integrity unit in the state’s attorney’s office to make sure DNA evidence is used to increase certainty about offenders, Winter hints at a similar program.

"I think that is a good idea," Winter said. "We must have cutting edge technology in the state's attorney's office." Regardless of Waller's decision Winter is ready to put his stamp on the office.

“I will bring new leadership and plans to the office of state’s attorney,” Winter said. “Those plans include utilizing every proven advancement in forensic science and technology to swiftly clear the innocent and solidly convict the guilty.”

Winter intends to use in public office the lessons he learned as a lawyer who has represented individuals, corporations and municipalities. “I look forward to applying private-sector efficiencies in case management and professional services,” he said.

This is Winter’s first bid for elective office. A partner in the law firm Fuqua, Winter and Stiles, he has practiced law in Lake County for more than 26 years and has prosecuted cases. He is the village attorney for Gurnee and Kildeer. He does not consider the job as the county’s top prosecutor a political one.

“The job of county prosecutor should performed in a nonpolitical manner,” Winter said. “I plan to expand programs to prosecute elder abuse, protect children from cybercrime and prevent consumer fraud.”

Winter was raised in Lake County, schooled in Waukegan and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Marquette University. He and his wife, Diane, have a son, Brendan.

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