Chesterton Tribune



Porter Dems raise most in campaign contributions for town election

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Candidates in the tri-town area of Chesterton, Porter and Burns Harbor have been busy knocking on doors hoping to get votes for the Nov. 3 municipal elections, but appear to be less interested in collecting donations for their campaign war chests.

While the mayoral race in Portage has seen campaign fund totals run into the six-figure range, candidates in Duneland have not raised or spent more than a $1,000 except three Democrats in Porter, according to reports that were submitted the Porter County Voters Registration.

Candidates were required to disclose the identity of supporters who have given more than $100 during the pre-election reporting period of April 11 through Oct. 9, unless the office they are running for pays less than $5,000 annually and they didn’t raise more than $500 in donations.

“If a candidate for a local office for which the compensation is less than $5,000 per year does not receive more than $500 in contributions or makes more than $500 in expenditures as a candidate does not have to file any campaign finance reports,” states to the Indiana Election Division’s 2015 Campaign Finance Manual.

According to Democrat Director of the County Voters Registration Office Kathy Kozuszek, the town council seats on Chesterton, Porter and Burns Harbor all pay less than $5,000 meaning no candidate is required to file a report unless they’re overall campaign fund figure exceeds $500.

A few candidates in all three towns still decided to file reports whether or not they exceeded $500 while others did not.


Democrats in Porter are outraising and outspending their GOP opponents.

The campaign boasting the largest dollar amount in campaign contributions and expenses for the Town of Porter Council race is that of Democrat Ross LeBleu, who is running for 4th Ward representative.

LeBleu reported $3,285 as the overall figure for his campaign, with $2,489 in cash on hand and investments, most of which were expenditures for campaign t-shirts, Frisbees and advertising.

Donors boosted LeBleu’s campaign by $550. Giving were attorney James Marsch, of Porter ($250); Gearald Waetcher, of Porter ($100); Darold Vredburg, of Elmhurst, Ill. ($100); and Richard Greenwall, of Northbrook, Ill. ($100).

LeBleu’s challenger, Republican Kimberly Fowler, reported $0 for her campaign.

The next biggest campaign fund belongs to 1st Ward Democrat candidate Erik Wagner who has a total of $2,108 in campaign receipts and contributions. His biggest contributor was his dad David Wagner, of Beverly Shores, with a $1,500 direct contribution. Two other contributors reported by Wagner are current Council member Elka Nelson with $200 and Porter resident Roger Hess at $150.

Wagner’s opponent Republican Levi Louis Mele reported $0 for his campaign total.

The Town’s 3rd Ward candidate Democrat William Lopez said his campaign has seen a total of $1,647 in contributions and expenditures and is receiving help from Union groups. Lopez received a $1,000 direct contribution from Boilermakers Local 374, of Hammond, which he had been a member of for many years. Additionally, Ironworkers Local 395 IPAL, of Hammond, added $400 to Lopez’s war chest and the Citizens for Chuck (State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage) added $100.

For individual contributions, Lopez reported a $100 loan to himself and a $47 donation from Janice Dicken, of Chesterton.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s GOP opponent Rob Pomeroy reported no contributors and that he has spent $580 for political yard signs.

In the 2nd Ward, running unopposed is Democratic incumbent Greg Stinson who reported at $500 loan to his campaign.

Running unopposed in the 5th Ward, Republican Tim Conway reported he made a $20 loan to his campaign.

Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy received $100 from Shirley McCarthy during her race against Zoe Sexton in the May primary election. There have been no donations since and Pomeroy is unopposed in November.


In the Chesterton Town Council race, Ward 3 candidate Dane Lafata, a Democrat, reported $511 in campaign receipts and expenditures. He is the sole donor to his campaign reporting a direct contribution of $380.

Lafata was set to face Republican opponent Aaron Adcock. Adcock however dropped out of the race earlier this month and did not make a campaign report.

In Chesterton’s only contested race, for the 4th ward, Republican Nathan Cobbs reported no donors but he has spent $462 on yard signs. His opponent, Democrat Scott McCord, did not turn in a report.

Candidates running unopposed in the Town’s 2nd and 5th wards, Republicans Lloyd Kittridge and Emerson DeLaney respectively, did not make reports.

In Ward 1, Republican incumbent Jim Ton reported spending $2,850 out of his own pocket prior to the May primary race where he successful defeated opponent and longtime Town Council member Jeff Trout.

Chesterton Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela reported that she received no donations for her unopposed race.

Burns Harbor

Candidates in the Town Council races largely did not submit campaign reports. The three that did were all Republicans -- Toni Biancardi, Andy Bozak and incumbent Jeff Freeze -- with Bozak having the highest number of contributors.

Bozak’s individual donors include Kraig Lhotak, of Chesterton ($226); Kevin Tracy, of Burns Harbor ($125); Alex J. Szmutko IV, of Burns Harbor ($100); Janet Bozak, of Chesterton ($50); Rick Salinas, of Hammond ($50); Michael Taylor, of Chesterton ($30); Janice Maurice, of Hammond ($25); Ed Mackowiak, of Schererville ($25); Walt Cox, of Valparaiso ($25); Jodi MacDonald, of Zionsville ($25); Sandy Lax Beals, of Chapel Hill, S.C. ($20); and Veronica Bozak, of Indianapolis ($20).

Bozak contributed $57 to himself.

Biancardi reached $452 in contributions to her campaign. A $100 contribution was made by Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission member Brad Enslen, who had made an unsuccessful run for Town Council earlier this year on the Democrat ticket. Biancardi reported she made a direct donation of $352 toward her own campaign.

Freeze reported giving a $320 direct contribution for his own campaign.

For the Clerk-Treasurer’s race, Democratic incumbent Jane Jordan reported a total of $1,572 she’s given to her own campaign and also two $100 donations from Porter resident Jennifer Klug and Szmutko Technology Inc., of Burns Harbor.

Jordan’s Republican challenger Timothy Canfield reported a campaign total of $0.

The campaign reports for all races in Porter County can be found on the County’s website,, in the Elections section.


Posted 10/28/2015







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