Mark Curran

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Mark Curran
Sheriff of Lake County
In office
December 2006 – December 2018
Preceded byGary Del Re
Succeeded byJohn Idleburg
Personal details
Born (1963-04-04) April 4, 1963 (age 59)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (2008–present)
Democratic (before 2008)
EducationSpring Hill College (BA)
Chicago-Kent College of Law (JD)

Mark C. Curran Jr. (born April 4, 1963) is an American attorney who served as Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois from 2006 to 2018. He was the Republican nominee in the 2020 United States Senate election in Illinois, losing to incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin.

Early life and education[edit]

Curran graduated from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.[1][2] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in business from Spring Hill College, and a Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law.[1][2] Curran attended law enforcement and leadership courses at Boston University and Northwestern University.[2]


Curran began his career as a state prosecutor in Lake County in 1990, rising to Senior Felony Prosecutor.[citation needed] He then served as a prosecutor with the Illinois Attorney General from 1999 to 2002.[citation needed] In 2002, Curran went into private practice, concentrating in civil and criminal litigation.[citation needed]

2006 election for sheriff[edit]

Curran won the Democratic Party's primary election for the position of Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois on March 21, 2006, and won the general election for that position in November 2006, defeating incumbent Gary Del Re.[3] In his elections and in his role as Sheriff, Curran has called for prison reform in Illinois, in which he includes a call for faith-based programming in prisons.[citation needed] In August 2008, Curran made national news when he voluntarily spent a week in the Lake County Jail.[4]

On December 15, 2008, Curran announced that he was switching from the Democratic to Republican Party, calling his decision a "matter of conscience", stating that the scandals of Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich played a role in his decision.[5]

2018 election for sheriff[edit]

After apparent defeat in the 2018 general election by a margin of 137 votes, by challenger John Idleburg,[6][7] Curran requested and lost a recount.[8] The day following the announcement of this result, Curran announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 2020 Illinois U.S. Senate Election.

2020 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Curran won the 2020 Republican primary for an Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate. His vote in the March 17, 2020 primary election was 41% of the votes cast, against four other candidates. The general election was held in November 2020, with Curran standing unsuccessfully against incumbent Dick Durbin and fellow challenger Willie Wilson.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "About the Sheriff". Archived from the original on 2010-02-12.
  2. ^ a b c "Mark Curran' Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  3. ^ Wischnowsky, Dave (9 November 2006). "Curran Eager to Begin". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  4. ^ "Sheriff Locks Himself Up to Know What It's Like". Newsweek. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  5. ^ "Lake County sheriff becomes Republican". WLS-TV. December 15, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  6. ^ Lissau, Russell (November 20, 2018). "Democrats gain control of Lake County Board; Curran ousted as sheriff". Daily Herald.
  7. ^ "NOVEMBER 6, 2018: GENERAL ELECTION". Retrieved 2019-12-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Pearson, Rick. "Days after giving up on a recount for reelection, former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to seek GOP nomination for U.S. Senate". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-12-30.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Illinois
(Class 2)

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