As of now, Democrat
challenger Bob Poparad holds a wafer-thin lead of 15 votes over incumbent
Andy Bozak in the race for the 1st District seat on the Porter County
On Friday, Nov. 16,
the Election Board will count both provisional ballots and those cast after
6 p.m. in the 12 precincts which Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford
ordered to remain open--by varying lengths of time--because they opened late
on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 6.
In five of those
precincts the race for 1st District seat is on the ballot: Liberty 1;
Westchester 9, 12, and 14; and Portage 6.
to the unofficial results released on Friday, Poparad beat Bozak in three of
those late-voting precincts--Liberty 3, Westchester 14, and Portage 6--Bozak
garnered more total votes in all five than Poparad did, by a margin of 65:
1,590 to 1,525.
In the most general
terms, Poparadís base of support resides in the older and centralized
neighborhoods of incorporated Chesterton and Porter; Bozakís, in the newer
subdivisions on the far-east and -west of Chesterton and in unincorporated
Liberty, Jackson, and Center townships.
Thus Poparad won
every precinct in incorporated Chesterton with the exception of Liberty 1
(the Golfview Estates, Westwood Manor, and Abercrombie Woods subdivisions);
and Westchester 14 (the Olde Towne Square and Duneland Cove subdivisions).
Poparad also won
two of the three precincts in incorporated Porter, losing Westchester 16
(the Duneland Cove subdivision) by only a single vote.
And Poparad won
Liberty 3 and 5, a large continuous swath between 1100N to the north,
Meridian Road in the west, C.R. 600N to the south, and C.R. 200E to the east
(the Tamarack, Tanglewood, and Morganís Corner subdivisions). He also won
Pine 2 (Beverly Shores); Westchester 6 (Dune Acres); and Westchester 17 and
Portage 4 and 6 (City of Portage).
But Bozak for the
most part dominated unincorporated Duneland: he took five of the seven
Liberty precincts; all five Jackson precincts; Westchester 9 (the Graham
Woods and Wake Robin subdivisions); Pine 1 (the Town of Pines but also the
largest portion of unincoporated Pine Township); and Center 1 and 2, south
of C.R. 600N.
Bozak also beat
Poparad in Burns Harbor itself--Westchester 11, where both live--319 votes
to Poparadís 283.
Blue vs. Red
Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly lost to Republican challenger Mike Braun
statewide, he won both Porter County, with 51 percent of the vote to Braunís
45 percent; and Duneland, where Donnelly took 20 precincts to Braunís 10.
In fact, Donnelly
won fully 10 precincts which went to Donald Trump in 2016; and all 10 which
went to Hillary Clinton.
Duneland voters, in
fact, were far more selective this year than they were in 2016. Only 11
percent cast straight-Democrat ballots, compared to 18 percent in the
presidential election; and only 12 percent cast straight-Republican ballots,
compared to 18 percent in the presidenital election.
Turnout in Porter
County was 53 percent of registered voters (compared to 62 for the
presidential election in 2016 and 35 percent for the last midterm election
Turnout in Duneland
was 55 percent (compared to 64 percent in 2016 and 36 percent in 2014).
Turnout was highest in Westchester 6, with 71 percent; and lowest in
Westchester 17, with 30 percent.
In the two races
for Duneland School Board--the at-large seat and the Liberty Township
seat--both winners dominated their competition.
ďRedĒ Stone defeated his challenger, Brian Custy--6,711 votes to Custyís
4,155--and Stone won 29 of 30 precincts (Custy took Westchester 17).
Pol--whose 5,256 votes fell not that far from the total garnered by all
three of her opponents, 6,333--won 27 of 30 precincts. Bob Filipek won two
precincts (Liberty 5 and Jackson 3) and tied Lightfoot Pol in a third