Endorsements: Making the Case for Re-Electing Mike Nerheim

2020 Endorsements

The latest statements of support for the 2020 re-election of Mike Nerheim

Adam Rubernstein, MD

"Lake County caught a spark of magic in 2012 when we elected Mike Nerheim State’s Attorney. Vote for him so we don’t lose a gem of our community. Let’s be grateful for our strong Lake County Institutions and Businesses. Let’s also be grateful we’ve elected Mike twice. I’ve worked closely with Mike for nearly all his 8 years in office. His vision and collaborative leadership are remarkable – I truly respect him, as do a broad range of leaders here at home and nationally. In my Internal Medicine and specialty Addiction practice, I try to maintain a holistic approach for my patients. Mike, on a grander scale, brings a one-of-a-kind holistic approach to life-situations of EVERYONE in our county and beyond. He has forever transformed the role of State’s Attorney by utilizing his talented team to address a wide range of needs which strengthen us by helping those with huge needs. Mike Nerheim is our strong yet compassionate Top Prosecutor. He’s also our leader of the Lake County Opioid Initiative, saving lives through the provision of Naloxone to first responders for those in the midst of drug overdose... Via the nationally lauded A Way Out initiative he’s empowered our police officers to bring those with the medical brain disease of addiction to treatment rather than jail. He is equally committed to justice for those wronged in our courts – and has strongly supported and engaged in support of Black Lives Matter. Under his leadership, our 5% of the IL population collects and disposes of at least 25% of the controlled substance meds no longer needed by patients. This frees up our Emergency Dept staff and jails. He has been crucial to the Text-A-Tip program to reach young people in urgent need of mental health guidance. All of that has not been enough for Mike. Now he’s worked to create a substance abuse and diversion center to help those with addiction, mood disorders and homelessness. Mike Nerheim knows the fabric of our community is only as strong as the help we provide to those with urgent needs. I answer his calls because he helps me to be a better person. I’m proud to know Mike Nerheim. He’s proven he can deliver on more than we ask and is working on more. Mike is my friend and my local hero. Look for him on your ballot. Mike Nerheim deserves our vote."


Peter B. Bensinger

“Mike Nerheim is our Lake County States Attorney and he deserves to be re-elected. He has helped save hundreds of lives through the Lake County Opioid Initiative, connected many hundreds more to treatment through the “A Way Out” program, and has prosecuted criminals to protect our families and our communities. Mike is a man of integrity with great character and experience. In today’s unpredictable environment, we need him.“
-Peter B. Bensinger,
  •  Lake County resident for over 38 years  
  •  Former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 
  •  Former Chair, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority 
  •  Former Chair of Lake Forest Police and Fire Commission 

Dr. Mary Roberson

"Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim is a champion for causes affecting our communities. As a partner in the fight against opioid overdose deaths, Northern Illinois Recovery Community Organization is honored to support and continuously stand with Mr. Nerheim. As a Navy Veteran and a team member of our Lake County’s Veterans Treatment Assistance Court, I am proud of the diversionary programs Mike’s office has implemented and maintained in our county."

Chelsea Laliberte Barnes

"Mike is an empowering advocate and change agent. When I met Mike in 2011 following the death of my brother from an overdose, Lake County had one of the worst overdose rates in the country. Mike brought community leaders and impacted families together quickly and we got to work. Because of Mike’s compassionate, strategic, and progressive leadership, Lake County has modeled how to put politics aside and bring people together to reduce deaths, increase access to care, and move away from punishing people for being human. "

Samuel Skinner

"I am proud to support Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County State's Attorney. He has done an outstanding job and proven himself to be one of our nation's best." 

Tara Thomas

"Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim is a man of character and a man of his word, and in today's climate that is rare. He is accessible and actively involved in the Lake County community. I trust him to seek justice against hatred and racism. Anyone who knows Mike Nerheim - whether they are Democrat, Republican or Independent - respects and supports him."

Amy Junge

"Mikes commitment to justice goes far beyond the courtroom. With great humility and integrity, Mike brings good people together to solve for various problems and challenges in our county. He inspires action and empowers us all to embrace our rights and responsibilities as American citizens when it comes to building a safe, healthy and strong community. We are better together under his leadership. I look forward to voting for Mike Nerheim in November with complete confidence."

Rev. R. J. Harris

"At a time where the entire country has now realized the need and importance of social and racial equity, it is refreshing to know that this has always been top of mind for Mike Nerheim. Whether it is his programs for restorative justice or the nine months that he helped drive the voluntary Department of Justice mediation with the City of Waukegan, Mike has always been determined to ensure that the rule of law is adhered to while at the same time recognizing that it is not perfect and that he needs to stand in the gap to ensure that systems are in place to balance the scales of justice for those who otherwise may get erroneously caught up in the 'system.' Most recently and notable was Mike’s work in bringing several federal agencies e.g. Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and the FBI, to host the first-ever 'Protecting Places of Worship' summit along with hundreds of faith-based leaders and parishioners from across Lake and Cook County. This monumental effort helped prepare houses of worship against race/faith-based hate crimes and would-be criminals. The empathy and awareness that Mike displays is essential for today’s States Attorney’s and we are fortunate to have him on 'our' side here in Lake County."

Andy Duran

“Mike is one of the finest people I have ever worked with, and he approaches his position with compassion, equity and respect. The fact that he has twice won State’s Attorney of the Year in Illinois underscores the job he has done to be tough on crime, but progressive on justice. The simple truth is that Mike Nerheim needs to be re-elected as Lake County State’s Attorney."

Allen Lynch

"It is my honor to support Mike Nerheim's re-election as Lake County State's Attorney. In addition to his experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has brought quality leadership to the State's Attorney's Office. He has established many innovative programs with an eye to keeping people out of trouble and out of jail. In addition to serving as Lake County State's Attorney, Mike has gone the extra mile and has been involved with many veteran-related programs including Lake County Honor Flight, Lake County Veterans History Project, and he currently serves as the Judge Advocate for the Lake County Council of the Navy League. Under Mike's leadership, the Lake County State's Attorney's Office is now recognized as one of the top prosecutors' offices in the country. He is a champion of the specialty courts, such as Veterans Treatment & Assistance Court, Mental Health Court, and Drug Court, and helps those veterans involved in the legal system to get the proper treatment and support. Mike has shown himself to be a friend to veterans. He deserves our support."

Mike Perillo

“I ran for the office as a Democrat, and I am here to say that Mike Nerheim is the best, most experienced and qualified candidate for Lake County State's Attorney."

Brian McClain, Sr.

"I am proud to endorse my friend, Mike Nerheim, for re-election as Lake County State's Attorney. He has done so much for the office and made a difference for all the people of Lake County. Just look at all that he's accomplished since he's been in office. The criminal justice reforms that have kept nonviolent people out of jail and offered them the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves, the Lake County Opioid Initiative, the A Way Out program, his focus on finding better ways to help child victims and the improvements to the Children's Advocacy Center. He's respected, well-known in the community, always helping out and supporting programs like the Senior Citizens Breakfast, Mother's Day Program and Toys for Tots. He's open-minded and fair to everyone in our diverse county--black, white, brown. He's for all the people. Don't look at the party, look at the person."

Oscar Zepeda

“As a journalist, I can identify people who act in good faith, have
a good heart and are very human. These are the qualities of Mike
Nerheim, therefore, I can confidently recommend him for the

Latino community to re-elect him to continue as Lake County State's Attorney.”

“Como periodista, puedo identificar a las personas que actúan
de buena fe, tienen buen corazón y son muy humanos, esas son
cualidades de Mike Nerheim, por eso, con toda confianza puedo
recomendarlo para que la comunidad Latina lo reelija y sigua
siendo Fiscal del Condado de Lake.”

Dr. Margarita Garcia

"I'm strongly supporting Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County State's Attorney because I know his heart for ALL the people of this community. He is a true champion in the fight against domestic violence and has been a tireless advocate for the rights of victims. Mike has focused resources on this critical issue by creating a Domestic Violence Unit with experienced and highly trained prosecutors and victim-witness coordinators specializing in domestic violence. He understands the importance of increased safety for victims and their children, and collaborates with partnering agencies and law enforcement to ensure their unique needs are met. Mike and his office have set a high standard for advocacy being modeled across the country."

Victoria Martin

"I have been an attorney for 40 years, serving as an Assistant State's Attorney in Lake County from 1981 to 1987. I believe that Mike Nerheim has been an outstanding State's Attorney. He deserves to serve another term to continue to lead the office with honesty, integrity and compassion."

Matt Tabar

"Mike has continually stood up for quality educational opportunities for young children as a way to prevent crime. I cannot think of a stronger advocate for children and quality education than Mike Nerheim. I support Mike for re-election."

Dr. Susan Sirota, MD

"As a pediatrician and parent in Lake County, I am grateful for State’s Attorney Nerheim’s unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of our youth and to the prevention of youth substance use. His dedication is best seen in his work to  prevent youth vaping--a public health crisis that impacts over 5 million teens. He refused to turn a blind eye to a harmful trend that set youth tobacco control back decades, and instead filed a first of its kind suit highlighting predatory marketing tactics that targeted our youth. As the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting many challenges for our youth, now more than ever, we need someone like Mike Nerheim, to continue to promote the health of our youth in Lake County."

Bruce Johnson

"Without a doubt, Mike Nerheim has been the leading force responsible for many of Lake County’s successes which are being emulated across the nation. Through his efforts, Mike has made Lake County safer and has brought a new level of compassion and care for victims. He has made a positive impact for the many organizations he volunteers for, and has helped to save so many lives and positively affected the families of so many more through his leadership of the Lake County Opioid Initiative. I know Lake County is better every day because of Mike Nerheim!"

Hon. Michael J. Fusz

"I wish to express my support for Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County States’ Attorney. As an experienced prosecutor who has also been a defense attorney, Mike has been instrumental in developing and supporting innovative programs which not only educate and protect the community, but also rehabilitate offenders. He co-founded the Lake County Opioid Initiative, a nationally-recognized drug intervention program, which has saved lives that would otherwise be lost through drug addiction. He has provided strong support to the highly successful intensive Specialized Treatment programs including Veterans Court, Mental Health Court & Drug Court which help non-violent offenders return to productive lives. Since its inception in 2012, Michael and his office have also actively participated in the Annual Lake County Veterans History Project, ensuring that the experiences of our veterans are preserved in the Library of Congress."

Hon. Margaret J. Mullen

"Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim has a proven commitment to Restorative Justice programs. He deserves our vote so that he can continue this important work."

Ellen Cohen

"I support Mike Nerheim for Lake County State's Attorney because he believes in protecting the youngest in our community; the people who may be afraid to speak up; the children who are victims of crimes. He provides comfort, safety and enforces the law to protect them. 

In collaboration with Mike, Zac’s Zoo has been able to provide calmness, security, and comfort, with a brand new stuffed animal."

Julio C. Argueta

"Mike Nerheim will continue to seek justice for all Lake County residents.  Mike's tireless efforts to ensure the public that all accused will be treated fairly and that all victims' rights will be preserved has made the Lake County State's Attorney's Office the model for Equity and Equality. In these turbulent times, we need a man who will stand for consistency and fairness."

Kathaleen Neville, LCSW

"Without hesitation, I fully support Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County State's Attorney. I have had the pleasure of working with the Lake County Domestic Violence Council and Veteran's specialty court. Mike has been committed to providing the utmost support to these multi-disciplinary teams in order to create meaningful and impactful services. It is Mike's passion for his work that has been the catharsis for these programs to attain the highest level of effectiveness, accountability, innovation and prudent justice. Mike is a man of his word and a public servant who 'walks the talk.'"

Lety Castellanos

"I firmly believe in voting for the right candidate! State's Attorney Mike Nerheim is genuinely committed to our community.  He is an advocate for social justice and has brought transparency as well as accountability to his office. He walks the walk...whether helping the homeless, standing up for our children, or supporting scholarship programs Mike is someone you can always count on. He deserves our vote for re-election as Lake County State's Attorney."


Julio C. Argueta
Lake County Attorney

Judy Armstrong
Community Activist

Peter B. Bensinger
Fmr. Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Fmr. Chair, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority 

Chicago Tribune

Daily Herald

Andy Duran
CEO of Nonprofit Community Organization and Drug Prevention Advocate

Mark Filler
President of the Jordan Michael Filler Foundation

Hon. Fred Foreman
Fmr. US Attorney and Retired Lake County Chief Judge

Hon. Michael J. Fusz
Retired Lake County Judge

Dr. Margarita Garcia, Ed.D, CDVP
Crisis Counselor and Victim Advocate

Bruce Johnson
CEO Behavioral Health Organization, Veteran and Educator

Amy Junge
Former CEO Zcenter
Principal Advisor, ALSAC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Lake County Farm Bureau

Chelsea Laliberte Barnes
Mom, Democrat, Social Worker, and Activist 

Allen J. Lynch
Veterans Advocate and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

Hon. Victoria Martin
Retired Lake County Judge

Hon. Margaret J. Mullen
Retired Lake County Judge

Torrie Mark Newsome
Criminal Defense Attorney

Michael J. Perillo, Jr.
Attorney and Fmr. Democratic Candidate

Dr. Mary Roberson, EdD, LPCP, CSADC
Founder of Recovery Community Organization

Dr. Adam Rubinstein, MD, SC
Internal Medicine/Opioid Addiction

Gary Schlesinger
Lake County Attorney

Lake CounDr. Susan Sirota, MD
Pediatrician, assistant professor, and founding member of youth substance use prevention community coalition

Hon. Sam Skinner
Fmr. White House Chief of Staff and Fmr. US Attorney

Matt Tabor
Retired LC School Superintendent

Tara Thomas
Fmr. President NAACP Lake County

United Hellenic Voters of America

in alphabetical order by last name


More Endorsements & Support Letters

Chicago Tribune Endorsement '20
Daily Herald Endorsement '20

Daily Herald endorses Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County State’s Attorney in 2020 and has done so for the third consecutive election cycle.  Read More.

United Hellenic Voters of America '20

United Hellenic Voters of America (UHVA), a non-partisan organization, endorsed Mike Nerheim for Lake County State’s Attorney for the third consecutive general election. The endorsement is based on specific criteria including qualifications, experience, history, Greek community support, and overall presentation. UHVA believes Mike is the most qualified candidate whose experience, leadership, and dedication they can trust for the benefit of the community. UHVA’s motto is “People. Not Party.”

Here’s what they released in 2016 when they endorsed Mike:

uhvaView as PDF

Lake County Farm Bureau '20

The Lake County Farm Bureau, representing more than 11,000 members throughout Lake County, has enthusiastically endorsed Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim for the November 3rd general election.

“The Lake County Farm Bureau is proud to once again endorse our hard-working Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim. During Mike’s tenure in office, he has transformed the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office into one of the most respected offices in the United States. We applaud Mike for this innovative cost saving measures and initiatives to protect victim rights. We urge the voters of Lake County to join us in supporting Mike Nerheim on November 3rd.”
Gregory Koeppen, Executive Director – Lake County Farm Bureau

Running on Results: Not Negative Attack Ads

Running on Results: Not Negative Attack Ads

Running on Results: Not Negative Attack Ads Time is running out to ensure that the voters of Lake County are aware of the truth and not the distortions, empty accusations that negative ads are conveying.  My campaign is about truth, transparency, experience and...

Drown Out The Noise

Drown Out The Noise

You know me.  You know I'm not unwilling to fight for what I believe is right, fair, and just on behalf of victims and, when rights need to be protected, on behalf of the accused. There is one thing I have not wanted to do, and that is to be part of any campaign that...

Let’s Be Honest…

Let’s Be Honest…

Mike Nerheim always takes the high road. He has questioned the qualifications of opponents but has never criticized nor disseminated unsubstantiated messages. He's a man of his word, and his word has always been the truth. But this is 2020, and there has never been...

Nationally Recognized Leadership

Nationally Recognized Leadership

Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim is considered a national leader on a variety of criminal justice issues, including the opioid epidemic, conviction integrity, gang prosecution, and criminal justice reform.  The Lake County Opioid Initiative (LCOI) that...


Listen to the truth about Mike Nerheim from people who know him and have worked closely with him in his role as Lake County State's Attorney.


Judy Armstrong is a Community Activist, most notably advocating for resources and protection of victims of Domestic Abuse.  She is emphatic about her experience with Mike Nerheim, whose leadership on the issue has put Lake County at the forefront of victims’ safety and prosecution of abusers.

Cursor over video and click play. Follow scroll arrows to see many more endorsement videos.

Tara Thomas knows and trusts Mike Nerheim to seek justice against hatred and racism.  As the Former President of the Lake County NAACP, and a school administrator in Zion, she wants all voters to know why Lake County Voters need to re-elect Mike Nerheim in 2020.

Torrie Newsome is a Long-time Lake County Lawyer who has known Mike Nerheim since he first interned at the Lake County State’s Attorneys office in high school. He also serves as Mike’s campaign chair.  His comments in 2020 carry extra importance given the rise in political division and concern over racial injustice and law enforcement policies. 

These videos include his urgent call to action for voters in 2020 as well as his reflections of Mike from previous campaigns,

People who know and respect Mike Nerheim remain his strongest supporters.

“I am proud to support Mike Nerheim for re-election as Lake County State’s Attorney. He has done an outstanding job and proven himself to be one of our nation’s best.” 

-Samuel K. Skinner, Former U.S. Attorney and Former Chief of Staff to the President of the United States


Endorser Spotlight: Chelsea Laliberte, Co-Founder, Lake County Opioid Initiative on working with Mike Nerheim

“Mike is an empowering advocate and change agent. When I met Mike in 2011 following the death of my brother from an overdose, Lake County had one of the worst overdose rates in the country. Mike brought community leaders and impacted families together quickly and we got to work. Because of Mike’s compassionate, strategic, and progressive leadership, Lake County has modeled how to put politics aside and bring people together to reduce deaths, increase access to care, and move away from punishing people for being human. “ 

-Chelsea Laliberte Barnes
 Mom, Democrat, Social Worker, and Activist 

This is not a partisan issue

In this year of division and political chaos, there has never been a moment when the quality of the individual candidate must be the justification for a vote, especially when it comes to a non-political, professional, and experience required position such as our State’s Attorney.  

These are a few of the voices of support who represent a diversity in political party who all agree they #LikeMike2020 and strongly urge you to KNOW BEFORE YOU VOTE.  

More Democrats In Lake County Endorse Mike Nerheim

Watch all three videos: The late Judge Phillips knew Mike very well.  In these 2016 comments he addressed how Mike has tackled inherited problems, brought innovation to victim’s support and advanced specialty courts.