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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.