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GOP candidate Lauren Turelli pulls out of north suburban state House race

Lauren Turelli

Lauren Turelli

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Updated: June 12, 2012 12:46PM

A Republican candidate for state representative from Lake Forest is pulling out of the November election.

Lauren Turelli announced Tuesday she is withdrawing from the race for the 58th District House seat. She was to face Democrat Karen May.

“It is with much regret that I end my campaign for state representative,” Turelli said.

“It was a difficult decision to throw my hat in the ring three years ago and even more difficult to leave it behind.

Turelli cited family issues for pulling out of the race.

“I’ve had great numbers and a lot of support. Things were just getting off the ground,” she said. “There’s just a lot going on in my family and related business that require my attention.”

The Republican party now gets to choose a candidate to replace Turelli on the ballot.

Lake County Republican Party Chairman Bob Cook said Tuesday he was “a little bit surprised” by Turelli’s announcement, but understand “she needs to spend time with her family, and that’s important.”

Cook said a meeting between the Republican township chairmen from the 58th District — which includes Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Deerfield and runs into Cook County — is set up this weekend to “come up with the best candidate we can find” to replace Turelli in the race against Democratic candidate Scott Drury for the seat held by Democrat Karen May.

‘Voting on a replacement for Turelli will be Lake County township chairmen Ed Kelly of Libertyville; Eric Burgess of Vernon; Louis Atsaves of Moraine; Mark Shaw of West Deerfield; and Daniel Bryant of Shields; as well as the chairmen of the Republican organizations from New Trier and Northfield townships in Cook County.

“We want to move quickly so that whoever gets selected can get their campaign started, but we don’t want to move too quickly and make a mistake,” Cook said. “We definitely want to win this one.”

Mark Neerhoff, a Lake Forest doctor who ran against Turelli and lost in the Republican primary, is a potential candidate.

“He is definitely someone who will be very strongly considered,” Cook said.

Neerhoff would not comment Tuesday on whether he will re-enter the race, but said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lauren for her service to the Republican Party and I wish her and her family well.”

Though she is withdrawing from this race, Turelli is not necessarily withdrawing from politics altogether.

“I hope not,” she said when asked if this decision marks the end of politics for her.

“I don’t even consider it politics. It’s public service for me,” she said. “I think I owe it to the people of the district and I owe it to the people who have supported me to give it 110 percent, which I can’t give.”

While she has no say in which candidate is selected, Turelli said she hopes the Republican Party “chooses a like-minded person to replace me for the November election.”

Turelli ran against May in 2010 and lost. May announced she would not run again this fall.

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