Chesterton Tribune



Larson ousts Poparad on County Council; Republicans take majority

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Two Democrat incumbents on the Porter County Council successfully withstood the influx of Republican voters in Tuesday’s General Election; one did not.

The race for the Council’s three at-large seats saw Democrats Sylvia Graham and Dan Whitten as the two top vote getters. Meanwhile, Republican challenger Jeff Larson prevailed as the third successful candidate, edging out incumbent Council member and Democrat Robert Poparad.

In the final numbers from Porter County’s unofficial count, Graham won 31,566 votes, Whitten won 30,111 votes, Larson won 26,373 votes, Poparad won 25,138 votes, Republican Travis Gearhart won 23,452 votes and Republican Rich Parks won 23,269 votes.

With Larson being the new face on the Council in January, the majority will shift to the Republicans with four of the seven members. The Democrats have held on to the majority for over a decade. The County Board of Commissioners is also Republican dominated.

Graham and Whitten maintained their lead throughout Tuesday night as the poll numbers were rolling in. The margin however between Larson and Poparad shifted as time went on.

Both Duneland residents, Poparad won more votes than Larson in the four Duneland townships -- Liberty, Pine, Jackson and Westchester -- overall with 7,661 votes to Larson’s 7,333. Larson captured more votes in Liberty and Jackson while Poparad found more support in Pine and Westchester.

Poparad did not fare as well outside of Duneland, losing in the south county townships.

Poparad told the Chesterton Tribune today that he would like to thank all who supported him and also the candidates in the race for running a clean campaign.

This morning by phone, Larson told the Tribune that he feels “bittersweet” about his win, saying that he and Poparad are lifelong friends, but he looks forward to serving as a voice for his constituents on the Council and getting to work on the issues.



Posted 11/9/2016






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