Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Party voters to pick nominees Tuesday

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

and KEVIN NEVERS

The talking’s over. Now it’s time to vote.

Indiana is holding its primary election on Tuesday. In Porter County the polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

Remember to bring photo identification.

Because it’s a primary election, you’ll be asked at your voting place to declare yourself either a Republican or a Democrat. You’ll then be given a single-ticket ballot. In the general election in November, you may vote for both Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans

In the only Duneland-specific race, the one for the 1st District seat on the Porter County Council, James Biggs and Kevin Tracy are vying for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Bob Poparad, who is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Tracy would be a new face in county government. Biggs has previously served eight years as Porter County North District Commis-sioner.

Tracy served in the U.S. Air Force as an operations intelligence analyst working with the federal government on counterterrorism tactics. He pledges never to vote for resolutions that utilize eminent domain and thinks the county should have a policy that denies tax breaks or abatements to new or existing heath facilities in Porter County unless they adopt a no-abortion policy.

Biggs said he stands to address major issues facing Porter County without the hassle of additional lawsuits.

However, Biggs has recently come out saying he is in favor of the current council’s decision to appeal the RDA ruling once he heard the judge’s comments that state lawmakers did not give the county a choice in joining the regional entity.

“Any fair-minded individual would have to agree that a law of that size and scope being passed downstate without any opportunity for input for the public or local government, it counters exactly what the democratic process is,” said Biggs.

Biggs also said that Poparad’s pledge of “no new taxes” has not been honored. Tracy has said Democrats in Porter County have failed to provide the county with good government.

Other Republican races:

•Porter County Assessor: Porter County Deputy Assessor Gail Hudson faces certified state appraiser Jon M. Snyder.

•Porter County Recorder: Jon Miller, a computer network administrator for the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, faces William A. LaFever, who’s in construction sales.

•Porter County Coroner: Chuck Harris, a 14-year licensed funeral director and five-year county deputy coroner, faces J. Clinkenbeard.

•U.S. Congressional 1st District: In a crowded race for the Republican nomination to face Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky in November, Adam A. Dombkowski, Ric Holtz, Mark Leyva, Peter Lindemulder III, Eric L. Olson, Robert Pastore, and Jayson Reeves square off. Visclosky is running unopposed.

•U.S. Congressional 2nd District: Martin A. Dolan, Jack Edward Jordan, Jackie Walorski, and Tony Hvfvgpd Zirkle vie for Republican nomination to face Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in November. Donnelly is running unopposed.

•U.S. Senate: Don Bates Jr., Richard Behney, Dan Coats, John Hostettler, and Martin A. Stutzman vie for the currently open seat currently held by Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, who opted not to seek re-election.

Democrats

There are several high-profile races on the Democratic ticket, beginning with the one for Porter County Sheriff. Incumbent Dave Lain is seeking re-election but will have to fend off a challenge from 27-year PCSP veteran W. “Chip” Yanta.

Lain points to the downward drop in the crime rate in unincorporated Porter County under his tenure and to a continued presence of PCSP officers tasked to two separate drug task forces.

Yanta, on the other hand, is basing his challenge on a the high rate of fatal drug overdoses in the county and on a recent spike in suicides.

Other Democratic races:

•Porter County Auditor: In the other high-profile race on the Democratic ticket, incumbent James Kopp will face Chesterton Tribune reporter Vicki Urbanik for the nomination for Porter County Auditor. Kopp is running for re-election on the strength of innovations in the office under his tenure and on the on-time distribution of tax dollars to governmental units in 2009. He has noted that systems were badly in need of modernization when he took office in 2007. Urbanik is running on the strength of her 23 years as a journalist specializing in governmental affairs and in particular on tax and budget matters. Urbanik—who has Level II assessor certification—points to a litany of problems in the issuance of property-tax bills in recent years, including erroneous tax rate charts, incorrect certified assessed values, miscalculated tax bills, and excessively late tax bills.

•Porter County Recorder: Jon Voelz, a public affairs consultant and former realtor, faces Debby Dean Malik, a certified Lake County deputy recorder.

•Porter County Coroner: Interim Coroner Robert Schulte—elected to the office by caucus after the resignation of Vicki Deppe earlier this year—faces challengers Ronald Reed, Billy J. Coker, Norm Hudson, and Nancy Satterlee.

•State Representative 3rd District: Long-time incumbent Charlie Brown faces Merrillville attorney Bryan Bullock.

 

Posted 5/3/2010

 

 

 

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