Early election buzz hinted one or more county council members would attempt
to make the jump to a county commissioner seat in 2012.
The rumors proved to be true as a number of current councilpersons entered
the Porter County voters registration at about 11:30 a.m. this morning.
Council member Jim Biggs, R-1st, held a small press conference to publicly
announce his campaign for the North County Commissioner seat currently held
by John Evans, who filed for reelection on Wednesday.
The two will face off in the May 8 Republican primary election.
Biggs said the county’s Total Quality Management system led by the county
auditor, assessor and treasurer has restored credibility and transparency to
county finances, but he believes the board of commissioners has not yet
caught the same wind.
“It is with great disappointment that the same success has failed to reach
other corners of county government, and this is not without significant
consequence. County commissioners have willingly allowed our E-911
operations to grow to a point which has become unsustainable in our ability
to properly fund it, county health insurance costs continue to spiral out of
control with little or no honest attempt to aggressively try and understand
why as well as what can be done to stop it, and they have recklessly managed
our animal shelter into a well publicized and acknowledged disgrace,” said
Biggs said as commissioner he would be more diligent in opening matters up
for discussion which he contends the current and former commissioners have
failed to do. The problems with E-911 consolidation and the animal shelter
could have been avoided if the commissioners had put the proper funding in
place, he said.
Biggs said Evans had spoke on developing a plan for the county in December
2010 addressing building and infrastructure needs and economic development,
but has yet to do so.
“Here we are in mid-January of the new year and there still is no plan,” he
If elected, Biggs’ would return to the commissioner board from which he
stepped down voluntarily in 2000 after serving two terms.
The second council member announcing candidacy for commissioner is Laura
Blaney, D-at large, who will be vying for South District seat.
Blaney in an announcement said she feels she would serve the county well as
South County Commissioner given her two previous terms on the county
council, one as a fourth-district representative and her current at-large
A lifelong resident of Porter County, Blaney said she would take the
Commissioner job on as full-time and that “her strength of bringing people
together to find compromise and common ground is particularly important
Blaney will face South County Commissioner candidate Jerry Puckett in the
Democrat primary election. On the Republican ticket for the South District
is Morgan Twp. resident Mike Heinhold.
Council President Dan Whitten, D-at large, is running to keep his current
seat as an at-large member on the council. Whitten filed Friday morning for
his third term of office.
That makes three candidates running for council at-large on the Democratic
ticket. Fellow Council member Sylvia Graham, D-at large announced her
reelection bid on Wednesday, as did former 1st District rep Bob Poparad.
“The horses are ready to run. See you at the racetrack,” Whitten said.
As of deadline today, the following are candidates who have officially filed
in the Voter Registration office. An “inc.” after a candidate’s name
signifies the incumbent. The Tribune will update the list throughout
the filing period.
County Commissioner, South District: Jerry Puckett, Laura Blaney
County Council, at-large (3 members): Sylvia Graham (inc.); Bob Poparad; Dan
County Treasurer: Mike Bucko (inc.); Debby Dean Malik
County Surveyor: Kevin Breitzke (inc.)
Superior Court Judge 2: William Alexa (inc.)
County Commissioner, North District: John Evans (inc.); Jim Biggs
County Commissioner, South District: Mike Heinhold