D46 Watchdog Enters Race for 31st Senate District

Lake County Tea Party Chairman Lennie Jarratt will seek the Republican nomination for Suzi Schmidt's seat in March.

The man behind several largely publicized efforts to expose alleged elections and ethics violations in Grayslake School District 46 is the latest to announce his candidacy for the 31st Senate District.

Round Lake Beach resident and Lake County Tea Party Chairman Linwood “Lennie” Jarratt said his campaign to seek the Republican Party’s nomination in March is all about “supporting families, not government.”

“Too many families in the 31st State Senate District are losing their jobs and homes due to the bad policies coming from Springfield,” he said.

“My track record of holding local officials accountable for their actions puts Springfield on notice that I am coming to change the culture and end the backroom deals,” Jarratt said. “Together, we can restore fiscal sanity and once again have Springfield policies supporting families, not government.”

Candidate Pool

Last month, Republican Suzi Schmidt, of Lake Villa, announced she would not seek re-election to the 31st Senate seat she won in 2010 over Grayslake’s Michael Bond. The announcement followed several domestic incidents at her residence in which police were called. Schmidt, who previously served as Lake County Board president, told the media she wanted to focus more time on her family.

In addition to Jarratt, former Lake County Board member Larry Leafblad, of Grayslake, and Michael White, of Lindenhurst, also will seek the Republican nomination in their bid to win Schmidt’s seat.

So far, Lake County Board member Melinda Bush, of Grayslake, is the only candidate seeking the Democratic nomination.

A former Grayslake village trustee, Bush said she’s always been a passionate fighter for the community and would continue to work in the best interest of the people if elected state senator.

“The people of Lake County and the 31st Senate District are in a state of crisis,” she said. “We are desperate for jobs and tax relief. We must find solutions that address the disastrous impact of the financial and real estate collapse. I am compelled to action out of sheer necessity.”

Springfield is Broke

Leafblad, who served on the county board from 1990 to 2008, said he is running for the Senate because Illinois is in “grave financial danger” and has become a “laughingstock.”

“Per capita, Illinois is the worst in the nation. I am a fiscal hawk that will put the brakes on spending,” said Leafblad, adding that if elected, he would limit his Senate tenure to no more than two terms.

State government, said Leafblad, needs to take a lesson from Illinois families like his own and “cut, cut and cut some more.”

“We need to get spending and borrowing under control first,” he said. “Then, we must reduce the size of governmental bodies in Illinois by combining jurisdictions and eliminating duplication of services.”

Like Leafblad, Jarratt said he is very concerned about state spending and the effect it has on the citizens.

“Springfield is broke, and their only solution is to squeeze more money from families with higher income taxes, high gas taxes, and Internet taxes that destroyed extra income for many home-based businesses,” Jarratt said.

Budgets are shrinking, said Jarratt, and taxing bodies continue to raise property taxes.

“Lake County has the highest property taxes in the Midwest and the 14th highest in the country according to Forbes magazine,” he said. “Families should not be squeezed any more. It is time to restore fiscal sanity to Springfield and reform this state-sanctioned local tax.”

White, a retired military man who ran as an independent for governor in 2010, calls himself a leader who will “get Illinois back on track by cleaning up wasteful spending, focusing on priorities and working in a bipartisan spirit to obtain a balanced budget.”

Teamwork, said White, will be necessary to develop a long-term strategy to control spending, eliminate waste and increase transparency.

Jarratt agrees.

“Every citizen has the right to expect open and honest government,” Jarratt said. “We should never have to pay a corruption tax as the price of government graft and backroom dealings.”

Nov. 28 is the first day to file for the March 2012 primary. The general election will be held next November.

  • Check back to Grayslake Patch tomorrow for a Q&A article with more information on Jarratt, Leafblad and White
Brad Faxton November 09, 2011 at 09:53 PM
OMG - i just spit coughie all over the computer I laughed so hard.
Sully November 09, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Quick- where can we find some illegals to come in and stuff the ballot box??? You know If he isn't successful in his run, there will have to be an investigation.
Nightcrawler November 09, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Personally, I'm pulling for all the candidates to release their tax returns.
Brad Faxton November 10, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Along with that, I dont think he realizes that any political contribution is required to be disclosed. Just don't think old Len knows what a world open book he is walking into. Heck, I'd even vote for JoeW vs Len.
Felicity November 10, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Coughie? Really? OMG...
Softball Jim November 10, 2011 at 03:51 AM
This is going to be interesting. Please tell me there is more people out there than this.... Only two of these people have ever held a public office as far as I can remember. Bush and Leafblad. I will not vote for someone who has never held even a school board position to represent me in the State Senate. No Experience, No political track record, other than being ''a watchdog", I think not. As far as between Bush/Leaflad.... Bush is in the lead. Leafblad is nothing but hot air and a politically insensitive, drunk. You should here him MC the Wild Game dinner in Fox Lake every year. It is an embarassment. (my opinion).Brad say it ain't Joe.. He is a bigger disgrace than Lennie !
Sully November 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Lennie, if you plan on governing, you're going to need to look at ALL the facts, not just the ones you pick and choose (although most pols. don't, but you'll be different, right?). http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/reports-on-charter-schools-expose-new-problems/2011/10/31/gIQAcMye3M_blog.html?wprss=answer-sheet
Brad Faxton November 10, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Yes, coughie. Without creamer or sugar. The cleanup was easy. Just used my Sham-wow and it was done in a jiffy.
Lennie Jarratt November 10, 2011 at 07:44 PM
After the continual suggestions on here about the problems only being able to be fixed in Springfield, I decided to take the comments to heart and go to Springfield to fix the problems. Thank you all for your suggestions.
Brad Faxton November 10, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Aside from you not having a slightest chance ever of winning....you do realize that you are required to disclose a lot of things.
Wedontforget November 10, 2011 at 08:40 PM
Larry Leafblad for the taxpayer? That's hilarious. Here's a guy with a ton of money who once kicked hundreds of residents out of an RV and trailer park because be was prejudiced against them and called where they live, and I QUOTE, "Dog Patch." I'm not making this up. Go look it up. Yeah, he cares about the lower income taxpayer, I'm sure.
Softball Jim November 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Lennie, you are right that this needs to be fixed in Springfield and I commend you for putting yourself out there for this position. I for one will not vote for you, sign a petition for you or offer any support for you. Not that you asked. I just find it hard to believe we would benefit to have an in-experienced person down in Springfield. Nor do I believe it is wise to send anymore far right leaning Republicans into office. We need a more moderate person, who can work with both sides. We also need someone who wont go on any long rants like you have done in the past at D46 board meetings. For that matter "Joe Walsh" people at a "Cup of Joe" meeting. I want things fixed and sorry, just don't think it is you.
Sully November 10, 2011 at 11:02 PM
I believe that was your wife making that suggestion. No one here who has even the slightest knowledge about you would suggest that of you. But, it's a free country, Len. Go for it. Sure hope you can practice what you preach. Haven't seen any evidence of that yet, but stranger things have happened. But I have one concern. How are you going to have the time to continually pursue D46?
Sully November 10, 2011 at 11:05 PM
"Together, we can restore fiscal sanity and once again have Springfield policies supporting families, not government.” I look forward to your explanation regarding this statement. How do the 'policies' not support the family while supporting government?


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