Republicans tap Shaw to run for 58th District state representative
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:43AM
LAKE FOREST — Less than 24 hours after he was asked and accepted the invitation to run as the Republican candidate for the 58th House District in Illinois, Mark Shaw of Lake Forest was knocking on doors.
“Saturday morning I started talking to people in my general neighborhood to tell them I’m running for State Representative,” Shaw said.
Most of his time spent his first day of campaigning was explaining that Lake Forester and winner of the Republican Primary, Lauren Turelli, withdrew from the race June 12.
Once he made that development clear, Shaw, who served as Turelli’s campaign manager, said he received similar comments from both his Democratic and Republican neighbors.
“They told me, ‘You need to go down to Springfield and tell them we’ve had enough’,” Shaw said.
If elected, that’s what Shaw, 51, intends to do.
Serving as the chairman of the West Deerfield Township Republican Committee has allowed Shaw to meet with residents and find out what concerns them most.
“Obviously, the economy is on everybody’s mind,” Shaw said Monday. “Even in more affluent areas (like the 58th District), there are job reversals, foreclosure rises and business closures. The downturn in the housing market has probably affected people in our district more than others. There was more distance to fall.”
Also topping the list of hot-button issues in the district are “pension problems and fiscal management of the state,” he said.
A licensed pharmacist and practicing attorney who owns his own law firm, Shaw Law Ltd. in Waukegan, Shaw said he also brings to the race an understanding of the political process, having served as campaign manager for Turelli and others over past 20 years, and issues facing businesses in the state.
“Illinois is not a business-friendly environment, at least compared to the states that surround us that are serving as havens for our businesses to flee to,” Shaw said.
A 21-year resident of Lake Forest, Shaw has been involved in the political process in the community for two decades. He also served on the Lake Forest Plan Commission for six years.
This is not the first time Shaw has run for political office. He ran against incumbent Lake County Board member Mary Beattie from Lake Forest in 1996 and lost.
Lake County Republican Chairman Robert Cook and the chairmen of the other Lake and Cook County townships that comprise the 58th House District selected Shaw as the candidate June 29 after Turelli dropped out of the race. They also considered Dr. Mark Neerhof of Lake Forest and Keith Gray of Libertyville.
Cook and Neerhof did not return calls for comments.
Shaw will face Democratic challenger Scott Drury of Highwood in the November election for the seat that longtime State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) has held for more than a decade. May decided last fall not to run for reelection.
The 58th District includes all or part of Bannockburn, Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook and Riverwoods.