Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Good wins Commissioner race; Urbanik unseats Wichlinski for Auditor

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Porter County voters chose Republican Jeff Good to be the new Center District County Commissioner.

Good received 21,032 votes countywide over his opponent Democrat Sylvia Graham’s 19,088 votes, a percentage of 52.4 to 47.6.

In the Duneland townships, Good scored a little less with 4,930 votes, or 51.5 percent. Graham won 4,642 votes, 48.5 percent, in Duneland.

Good’s best performance in Duneland was in Jackson Twp. where he captured 56.4 percent while Graham’s best was in Pine Twp. with 52.5 percent.

Graham also beat Good in Westchester Twp. with 50.7 percent of the vote. Good won in Liberty Twp with 54.2 percent of the vote.

Good is president and founder of Good Hospitality which oversees 26 hotel properties in a total of five states. He also serves as the County’s representative on the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and participated in the County Job’s Cabinet charged with coming up with solutions to grow the local economy.

“It’s been a long nine months. I feel good about the (victory), running a positive campaign in both this race and the primary race,” Good told the Chesterton Tribune this morning. Good will replace County Commissioner Nancy Adams who he defeated in the Republican primaries.

The Republicans will still dominate the three-member Commissioner board next year with Republican John Evans and Democrat Laura Shurr Blaney.

Good said he is anxious now to find what parts of his campaign message in particular voters favored so he can begin working for the residents. “There’s no really smoking gun,” he said.

He thanked Graham for “a clean race” and said she was a formidable opponent.

Graham is currently in her second term on the Porter County Council as an at-large member. She was the top vote getter in the 2012 County Council at-large elections out of six candidates.

Graham didn’t have much speculation this morning as to what gave Good the edge over her. Voters must have preferred Good’s approach promoting business while she ran on the promise of putting a hold on taxes, she said.

There are opportunities out there, Graham said, where she can be of service as a County Council member in managing finances. “I plan on staying involved in the fray of it all,” she said.

Lastly, Graham said she was pleased to see voter turnout improved “tremendously” at 35.09 percent over last May’s dismal performance of 11 percent.

“I’m glad that people got out and voted. That’s important,” Graham said. “The turnout is good. Of course it could be better.”

Department heads

In other County office race results, incumbent department heads held off challenges from rivals with the exception of the Auditor race between Republican Robert Wichlinski and Democrat Vicki Urbanik.

Having lost to Wichlinksi in the 2010 election, Urbanik ended up on top this time with 20,349 votes (51.2 percent) countywide to Wichlinski’s 19,367 votes (48.2 percent).

Urbanik, who works as the County’s Budget and Financial Specialist, said she believes the majority of voters favored her pledge to bring accountability, bipartisanship and ethics to the Auditor’s office.

As for the County Clerk, Republican Karen Martin will keep her seat for a second term earning 21,084 votes (53.5 percent) over Democrat Kathy Kozuszek’s 18,309 votes (46.5 percent).

County Recorder Jon C. Miller was also elected to a second term Tuesday. He won 20,957 votes (53.1 percent) while Democrat Scott Williams took 18,470 votes (46.9 percent).

County Council results

As the Commissioners will see one new member next year, so will the County Council. Political newcomer Republican Michael Jessen won the contested race in Council District 4 over Democrat Donald Ensign. Jesson got 6,354 votes, over 60 percent of the vote, while Ensign took 4,053. Jessen ousted the current seat holder Jim Polarek in May’s primary elections.

Incumbents 1st District Council representative Jim Biggs, 2nd District Council representative Jeremy Rivas and 3rd Council District representative Karen Conover all ran unopposed.

 

Posted 11/5/2014