Chesterton Tribune



Larson, Parks, Gearhart win GOP County Council race

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In the results for the pick-three race for Porter County Council at-large in Tuesday’s Republican primary election, Jeff Larson, Rich Parks and Travis Gearhart will move on to the general elections in November, edging out candidate hopefuls Ralph Levi and Howard O’Connor.

In the five-way race Larson took the lead with 10,538 votes. In second was Valparaiso resident Rich Parks with 9,937. Third was Westchester Twp. resident Gearhart with 7,755 votes.

Fourth was Levi at 7,152. O’Connor was fifth with 6,626.

26,402 voters requested Republican ballots Tuesday and were eligible to vote in the race.

Favorite sons?

Larson--a prominent Liberty Township resident and a CHS teacher with no little name recognition--was the big winner not only countywide but in Duneland, where in a pick-three race he had pluralities in all but one precinct; and tied for second in that one.

Travis Gearhart--a Chesterton resident who ran third countywide--finished in the Top 2 in three Duneland precincts; and the Top 3 in 13.

And Ralph Levi--a Jackson Township resident who ran fourth countywide--finished in the Top 2 in a single Duneland precinct; and in the Top 3 in 15 other precincts here.

But Richard Parks--a Valparaiso resident who countywide had the second biggest vote total--did much better in Duneland than either Gearhart or Levi did. Parks had a plurality in one precinct; and finished in the Top 2 in 27 others.

Howard O’Connor--a Hebron resident whose countywide vote total was fifth of five--ran a poor fifth in Duneland as well, where he finished in the Top 3 only four times.


On the Democratic ballot, no one challenged the three incumbents, Sylvia Graham, Robert Poparad and Dan Whitten.

Although the three ran unopposed, Democrats still had the chance to bullet vote.

Graham garnered the most support, 14,181 votes, followed by Whitten, 12,536 votes. Poparad, however, slumped drawing only 10,090 votes.

23,053 voters requested Democrat ballots Tuesday.

In November all Porter County voters will be eligible to vote for up to three candidates with Republicans Gearhart, Larson, and Parks facing Democrat incumbents Graham, Poparad and Whitten.


Posted 5/4/2016




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