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.
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
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.
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.
$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.
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).
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.
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.
contributions, Lopez reported a $100 loan to himself and a $47 donation from
Janice Dicken, of Chesterton.
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.
in the 5th Ward, Republican Tim Conway reported he made a $20 loan to his
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.
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.
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.
Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela reported that she received no donations
for her unopposed race.
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.
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).
$57 to himself.
$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
giving a $320 direct contribution for his own campaign.
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.
challenger Timothy Canfield reported a campaign total of $0.
reports for all races in Porter County can be found on the County’s website,