Chesterton Tribune

Lugar in Porter County for candidacy filings along with local incumbents

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Porter County Voters Registration Office received a surprise visit from Republican U.S. Senator Richard Lugar this morning on opening day of the 2012 candidate filings.

The Senator is visiting Porter and St. Joseph counties today to file petitions with 500 signatures from each congressional district in order to run for his 7th term of office. Lugar first took office in 1977. He and his team also stopped at a phone bank at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso.

Lugar said he is 25th in the “batting order” of longest serving senators and 11th in number of total votes cast, trailing current U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (ranked 10th) who he anticipates passing up.

“While we keep voting, Joe’s [ranking is] in harm’s way,” Lugar said.

Lugar said he appreciates the “enthusiasm of the people” in Porter County while greeting a host of local officials at the Porter County Administration Building and receiving warm welcomes from county commissioners John Evans, R-North, and Nancy Adams, R-Center.

Moments before, Evans announced his re-election bid for northern county commissioner, for which he was unopposed as of deadline today. First elected in 2000, this would be Evans’ fourth term of office if re-elected in November.

The morning managed to produce two contested races, for the county Treasurer and South County Commissioner. Republican Mike Heinhold of Morgan Twp. and Democrat Jerry Puckett of Porter Twp. will vie for the South Commissioner seat currently held by Democrat Carole Knoblock. Knoblock had not yet filed by today’s Tribune deadline.

The second contested race has (Debby) Dean Malik a candidate for county Treasurer on the Democratic ticket, as is incumbent Democrat Mike Bucko. Malik, who resides in Hebron, made an unsuccessful run for county Recorder in the 2010 Elections. She will challenge Bucko in the May 8 primary elections.

Democrat Kevin Breitzke filed to keep his position as County Surveyor and is currently unopposed.

For the County Council, which will elect three at-large members this year, two Democrats had signed up – incumbent Sylvia Graham and former 1st District representative Bob Poparad.

“I still have fire in my belly,” Graham told the Tribune on Wednesday. “I enjoy the opportunity and want to continue being a voice for the people of Porter County.”

Poparad served on the council for two terms starting in 2003 before being ousted by Republican Jim Biggs in 2010.

Candidates for local races have until 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, to declare their candidacy at the county voters registration office, located in Room 105 of the county administration building (155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso).

Other offices up for election include Porter County Superior Court Judges 2 and 6 and all Indiana State Representatives who must file with the state.

 

 

Posted 1/11/2012