Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Campaign financial reports: Sheriff most expensive race

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Porter County Sherriff David Lain will have more than crime to fight in this yearís primary and general elections as his opponents are putting up big bucks for Porter County to have a new sheriff in town.

But Sheriff Lain isnít feeling too much of a pinch. His campaign committee has currently managed to collect $18,077.88 in contributions, towering over his challenger in the Democratic primary election W. Chip Yanta of Valparaiso whose campaign totals only $2,430 so far. Uncontested county sheriff Republican candidate Ralph G. Levi of Chesterton is racing the hardest towards the finish line in November. The Committee to Elect Ralph G. Levi for Porter County has reported a total of $28,810 contributions with $27,250 coming from Levi himself.

Last Friday at noon was the deadline for filing pre-primary campaign finance reports for all candidates in the countyís May 4 primary election. Candidates were asked by the Indiana Election Division to submit lists of contributions and expenditures to the Porter County Voters Registration Office.

Reports reveal the top individual supporters in Lainís campaign include Porter County Council member Laura Blaney, D-at large, and former county sheriff David Reynolds of Portage, both giving $150. Other large donations came from Pappas Logistics, Inc., in Hammond who paid out $1,000 and $2,000 came from Boilermakers Local #374 in Hammond.

The top supporters in Yantaís campaign include Yanta himself with $500, Lawrence J. Ulanski of Chicago - $100, and VFW Post 988 in Valparaiso - $1,830. From Leviís list of donors, Harry M. Conley of Valparaiso- $500, Susan Resteau of Valparaiso- $280.56, and Alexander M. Rodriguez of Chesterton- $250.

The county race with one of the tightest ranges of campaign totals is the Democratic race for Porter County Auditor. Incumbent James K. Kopp reported a total of $4,350 in his campaign while his primary opponent Chesterton Tribune reporter Vicki Urbanik has reported a total of $5,045 in hers.

Koppís top donors are largely labor unions, two of which doled out $300 including Iron Workers 395 in Hammond. The Teamsters labor union which is headquartered in Washington D.C. hauled in $150 for Kopp.

Urbanikís backers include a handful of Democratic county officials with Porter County Commissioner President Robert Harper, D-Center, being the strongest with a $500 contribution. Tied for second are county councilpersons Blaney with $250 and Council President Dan Whitten, D-at large, with $250.

Uncontested Republican county auditor candidate Robert Wichlinski reported a single $500 donation from Mark Forszt of Valparaiso.

With the Democrats facing off in the auditor race, the Republicans are waging their own battle in the race for county assessor. Republican candidate Jon Snyder of Portage has raised $3,547 according to his campaign finance report, nearly one and a half times more than his opponent Gail Hudson of Valparaiso who has $2,000 in contributions.

Snyderís top supporters are David Lawson of Michigan City- $1,000, Mark Forrest of Valparaiso- $500, and Chuck Williams of Valparaiso- $265. The most giving on Hudsonís list are Christina and William Day of Valparaiso- $500, Martin Moeller of Valparaiso- $200, and Hudson herself with $600.

Republican supporters have also contributed to County Council District 1 Republican races. Kevin Tracy of Chesterton has raised $2,125 with Tracy himself as the biggest donor with $850 in the We the People for Kevin Tracy campaign. County Sheriff Republican candidate Levi has squeezed out $130 for Tracy and another $250 came from John Saltsman of Nashville, Tennessee.

Tracyís primary election rival, former north county commissioner James Biggs, reports a modest total of $659.34 and including a $200 donation from Joan Brubaker of Valparaiso.

County officials have strongly given to County Council member Rita Stevensonís, D-2nd, campaign, bringing her total to $10,023 which is only about half of her challengerís $19,168 figure. Harper is Stevensonís top contributor with $2,000 and another $1,000 from fellow council member Whitten. County Council attorney Scott McClure also contributed $750 to the Committee to Re-Elect Rita Stevenson.

Stevensonís challenger is Portage Twp. Board member Jeremy Rivas whose top donors were several labor unions including $250 from United Steel Workers in Portage. Top individual donations came from Jennifer Richmond-Rivas of Merrillville with $200. The (Karen) Tallian for Senate Campaign Committee gave $200 also.

Candidates will also have to submit a campaign finance report before the general election in November which will be due to the voters registration office by noon on Friday, Oct. 15.

The primary election arrives Tuesday, May 4, but absentee voting has already begun. Absentee voters have until noon on Monday, May 3, to get their ballots in.



Posted 4/20/2010




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