Chesterton Tribune



Lafata faces McMahan on Chesterton Democrat ballot

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The Democrat Party has slated a single contested race in the Chesterton municipal primary election on Tuesday, May 5: that between Dane Lafata and Rory McMahan for nomination to the open 3rd District seat on the Town Council.

Lafata, 35, and McMahan, 34, are well paired as candidates.

They’ve both lived in Duneland most of their lives, McMahan in Porter until recently.

They’re both young. Lafata is married and has two daughters; McMahan has a girlfriend.

They’ve both evinced a prior interest in municipal service. Lafata has been twice appointed to the Chesterton Tax Abatement Advisory Committee; McMahan ran for a seat on the Porter Town Council in 2007, losing in the primary.

And both have chosen the adequacy of municipal services as their campaign issue.

Lafata specifically expresses concern about Chesterton’s parks, points to the old equipment at Dogwood and the dismantling of Dunes Friendship Land, and suggests that the town’s traditional kid-friendliness has been allowed to go by the board.

McMahan, for his part, calls the Street Department “a pillar of my candidacy,” repeats a criticism which he’s heard--that the snow plows aren’t clearing the roads fast enough in the winter--and promises to give infrastructure “proper attention and funding.”

Lafata’s a small businessman--he’s part owner of Lafata Tax Service and owner of Little Giant Consulting--and he says that the small-business ethos is vitally important to him. It’s the little local guy who takes a chance--not the “giant corporations and big box retailers”--whom Lafata wants to encourage and he wonders whether the town is doing its best to promote the home-grown entrepreneur.

McMahan--an earth science and health teacher at a residential treatment center for teens in Wheatfield--puts his youth at the center of his candidacy. “I think it’s time for people of my generation to step up,” he says. “For so long I’ve heard from the same people. And I appreciate their contributions. But I feel the burden shouldn’t fall on the same people always.”

The winner of this race will face Republican Aaron Adcock in the general election.


Posted 5/4/2015