Chesterton Tribune



Jim Biggs wins Commissioner seat

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Longtime Porter County official Jim Biggs will switch hats from the 1st District County Council seat to North District County Commissioner in January.

Biggs took a substantial margin of the vote over Democrat candidate Jeffrey Chidester in the unofficial results of Tuesday’s vote with 39,519 votes going to Biggs and 34,075 to Chidester.

Duneland voters were more apt to vote for Biggs as he won 55.6 percent of the vote here compared to 53.7 percent countywide. Biggs took all the precincts in Liberty and Jackson Twps., one of the two precincts in Pine Twp. and 12 out of the 16 precincts in Westchester Twp.

The North Commissioner District race was the only contested Commissioner race this year. South District Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, a Democrat, ran her race with no opponent, garnering a second four-year term.

Biggs will replace John Evans on the Board of Commissioners. Evans, who is finishing his fourth term, chose not to run for re-election. Biggs had unsuccessfully challenged Evans for Commissioner in the 2012 Republican primaries.

Biggs had previously served two Commissioner terms, before Evans, from 1993 to 2000.

Biggs told the Chesterton Tribune this morning he is “immensely grateful” for the kind of support the voters gave him. He believes his leadership over the years gave him the edge over Chidester.

Chidester did not return a phone call by the Tribune this morning for comment.

Biggs gave credit to Chidester for putting in a lot of hard work on his campaign and appreciated that he ran a “very clean race.”

The current chairman of the Porter County Democrat Party, Chidester had said he could lend his talents to serving the County after having 20 years’ experience as financial secretary for Ironworkers Local 395 where he dealt with managing numerous contracts and health and pension plans.

Biggs touted his knowledge of County Government and his commitment to working with Blaney and Commissioner Jeff Good, R-Center, on planning more efficient ways to run government. He said this morning that after talking with other officials in the County, there is a consensus to be proactive this year.

“I think people are going to notice we’re going to be doing things more out of the box,” he said. “We’re looking to make this coming year a huge success for our county.”

With his transition to the Commissioner board, a Republican caucus will be required to fill Biggs’ County Council seat which has two years left on its current term.


Posted 11/9/2016




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