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Former state Sen. Laura Kent Donahue to run for Adams County Circuit Clerk

Laura Kent Donahue
Posted: Sep. 6, 2011 10:12 am Updated: Jun. 4, 2015 6:40 pm

By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer

Former state Sen. Laura Kent Donahue of Quincy plans to announce this week that she is a candidate for Adams County circuit clerk. Donahue, 62, has scheduled her campaign kickoff for 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the southwest entrance to the courthouse near Fifth and Vermont. She plans to make stops elsewhere in Adams County in coming weeks.

The Republican served in the Illinois Senate starting in 1981 after she was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by her mother, state Sen. Mary Lou Kent. Donahue served 21 years before losing a re-election bid in 2002 to state Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville. Within days after that loss, she was appointed to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board by then-Gov. George Ryan, where she received a salary of $80,000 a year. She served on the board for about 14 months before removed by then Gov. Rod Blaogjevich.

Incumbent Circuit Clerk Randy Frese, R-Paloma, is not running for re-election to a third term. Frese, 52, instead is running for the 47th Senate District seat against Sullivan in the November 2012 election. Frese became the first Republican to serve as circuit clerk in Adams County in 52 years after he was elected in 2004, and he was re-elected in 2008.

Frese also is chairman of the Adams County Republican Party, a member of the Adams County Fair Board and president of the Illinois Association of Court Clerks.

Sullivan, 52, will be seeking his fourth term in the Illinois Senate. He won his first re-election bid in 2004 with more than 60 percent of the vote against Quincy Republican Tom Ernst. Sullivan did not face a challenger in 2008.

Donahue said she had not planned for any publicity about her candidacy before the Thursday announcement, but an embargo on the information was broken Tuesday morning.

--dwilson@whig.com/221-3372

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