Chesterton Tribune

DeLaney and Mulholland win in Chesterton with low turnout

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In a primary municipal election marked mostly—at least in the Town of Chesterton—by a miserly turnout, a Republican incumbent won his party’s nomination and a Democrat neophyte his.

Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney handily defeated the Republican challenger for his 5th District seat, Tristan Ziska, with 75.42 percent of the ballots cast in his race: 132 votes to 43.

Democrat Brian Mulholland, on the other hand, defeated Calvin Chubb for his party’s nomination for the 3rd District seat on the Town Council with 66.66 percent of the ballots cast in his race: 64 votes to 32.

Chubb was only technically a candidate, however, as he had previously withdrawn his candidacy and thrown his support behind Mulholland.

DeLaney ran chiefly on the Town Council’s record over the last four years, including its friendly annexation of 140 acres south of the Indiana Toll Road, its appointment of a Town Manager and several new department heads, and its advocacy of economic development and the so-called Ind. 49 utility corridor. Ziska, on the other hand, based his candidacy largely on the advantages of a fresh face and new ideas.

“I want to thank those who came out and voted for their confidence in the current council, so we can keep the momentum going on the decisions we made,” DeLaney told the Chesterton Tribune today. “And I urge my opponent to continue his quest to serve the residents of this community. I’m all for people getting involved. We need more of it.”

Mulholland, for his part, supports more small business in the Downtown, opposes big-box development, and would like to see economic development with an eye specifically to the tourism dollar. He will face Republican incumbent Nick Walding in the general election on Nov. 8.

“Thanks everybody for the support, for coming out,” Mulholland told the Tribune. “I hope to see you in November.” Mulholland’s plans for the fall include “attending more Town Council meetings, talking to people in the community, and learning more about the issues.”


Turnout in the Town of Chesterton on Tuesday was dismal, with only 285 voters of the 8,609 registered—or 3.31 percent—showing up at the polls. That compares to 10.64 percent in the last primary municipal election held in Chesterton, in 2003.

Lowest turnout in Chesterton: in Jackson 1, where none of the 28 registered voters cast a ballot. The highest turnout: in Westchester 1, where 30 of the 553 registered voters—or 5.42 percent—made the effort.

Turnout was significantly better in the Town of Porter, on the other hand, with 502 voters of the 3,387 registered—or 14.82 percent—casting a ballot.

Countywide turnout was 11.44 percent.

Of the 285 voters in Chesterton, 185 pulled a Republican ballot; 100, a Democratic.

It’s Not Too Late

to Run in the Fall

Town Council members Jim Ton, R-1st, Jeff Trout, R-2nd, Nick Walding, R-3rd, and Sharon Darnell, D-4th, and Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski all ran unopposed for their respective party’s nomination.

Ton garnered 146 votes; Trout, 152; Walding, 145; Darnell, 79; and Polakowski, 155.

It’s not too late, though, to get political. A Chesterton Democrat who wishes to run against Ton, Trout, or Polakowski in the fall, or a Chesterton Republican who wishes to run against Darnell—and who meets all other eligibility requirements, including residency in the correct district—may still do so because the opposing party in those four races was unable to drum up its own candidate for the primary election.

Democrats who want to run against Ton, Trout, or Polakowski in the fall should contact Porter County Democrat Party Chair Dan Parker.

Republicans who want to run against Darnell in the fall should contact Porter County Republican County Chair Joyce Webster.

For more information call Porter County Voter Registration: Democrat Director Kathryn Kozuszek at 465-3484; Republican Director Sundae Kubacki at 465-3486.

The deadline for being appointed by a party’s county chair is July 5.



Posted 5/4/2011