Incumbent Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd of Lake Forest, who withdrew last December from the Democratic primary, filed 14,560 signatures on June 27 seeking to have him placed on the November ballot for coroner.
Rudd appeared in the afternoon at the office of Carla N. Wyckoff, Lake County Clerk in Waukegan (18 N. County St.), presenting an estimated 1,450 pages weighing about 25 pounds at 8 inches thick. Rudd had a prepared statement where he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have tried to be honest,” Rudd said, offering words by the civil rights leader.
More than the 10,000 signatures were needed for ballot placement as an independent candidate.
“It wasn’t easy,” Rudd said.
“I am a big supporter of him,” said Clyde McLemore of Zion, chair of Lake County Black Lives Matter, who was there to watch Rudd file the signatures.
For the last 100 days, Rudd supporters gathered names at venues where they were welcomed or shooed away.
“I gathered 2,000 signatures at Jewel, Home Depot and churches,” said Mary Miller-Lane of Waukegan.
“He’s (Rudd) a great person, his integrity stands alone.
“He’s the right person for the job,” Miller-Lane added.
Rudd wanted to run as a Democrat but pulled out after dissenters accused him of filing questionable petitions last November.
“I made a clerical error,” Rudd said on June 27. “I did not know the ins and outs of elections.
“I willfully withdrew because of an infraction of the election code I committed.”
If the June 27-submitted petition isn’t challenged, Rudd, who retired from practice in 2009 with a specialty in pathology and nuclear medicine, will be part of the ballot as of 5 p.m. on July 5. Rudd said he expects the petition will be challenged.
Why does he want to retain the coroner’s office?
“I always believed in giving back to the community,” Rudd said.
“My record speaks for itself.”
Former Deputy Coroner Michael Donnenwirth is running as a Democrat and Dr. Howard Cooper, a lifelong Lake County resident, is campaigning as a Republican.
Rudd has been criticized for other decisions, he said.
“Over the last three years, there have been controversial cases in which my medical knowledge and experience came to an unbiased outcome on how and why these individuals died,” Rudd said.
“In several cases, I was vilified and attacked for so-called unprofessional actions.”
Rudd was questioned on how he handled details about the death last year of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.
Rudd said on June 27 that he sticks by his statement that the cause of death for Gliniewicz, eventually called a suicide, was a single devastating gunshot wound to the torso.
For this, many are still angry, he said.
“Do you think?” Rudd said, if some people are out to discredit him. “The truth is not accepted out here.”
— Rudd to run for coroner as independent —