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