Mark Curran Sheriff
Mark C. Curran is the current Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois. Curran began his career a state prosecutor in Lake County in 1990, rising to Senior Felony Prosecutor. He then served as a prosecutor with the Illinois Attorney General from 1999 to 2002. In 2002, Curran went into private practice, concentrating in civil and criminal litigation. In 2006, Curran won the Democratic Party primary election on March 21, 2006, and won the general election in November 2006, defeating incumbent Gary Del Re. Curran has been outspoken in his call for prison reform for Illinois, including faith based programming in prisons. In August 2008, Curran made national news when he voluntarily spent a week in the Lake County Jail. On December 15, 2008 Curran announced that he was switching from the Democratic to Republican Party, calling his decision a "matter of conscience." Curran stated that the scandals of Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich played a role in his decision to switch parties Curran holds a J.D. Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Spring Hill College. He graduated from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.
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The Republican Party, also commonly called the GOP, is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854, it dominated politics nationally for most of the period from 1860 to 1932. There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, serving from 1861 to 1865, and the most recent being George W. Bush, serving from 2001 to 2009. The most recent Republican presidential nominee was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2012. The party's platform is generally based upon American conservatism, in contrast to the Democratic Party, which supports contemporary American liberalism. The Republican Party's platform of conservatism traces its roots to classical liberalism with an emphasis on its economically liberal policies in supporting free markets, limited government, and laissez-faire economics, while supporting socially conservative policies. A significant portion of the Republican base is made up of fiscal conservatives and other free market, pro-capitalism factions.
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The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the younger Republican Party. Tracing its origins back to the Democratic-Republican Party, the modern Democratic Party was founded around 1828. There have been 15 Democratic presidents, the first being Andrew Jackson, who served from 1829 to 1837; the most recent is the current president, Barack Obama, who has served since 2009. Since the 1930s, the party has promoted a social-liberal platform, supporting social justice and a mixed economy. Until the late 20th century the party had a powerful conservative and populist wing based in the rural South, which over time has greatly diminished. Today its Congressional caucus is composed mostly of progressives and centrists. As of the 113th Congress, following the 2012 elections, the Democratic Party holds a minority of seats in the House of Representatives and a majority of seats in the United States Senate, as well as a minority of state governorships and control of a minority of state legislatures.