Town of Porter voters have spoken.
Republican Kenneth Timm will be the GOP’s Ward 1 candidate in the November
general election after defeating incumbent first-term Town Council member
Todd Martin 150 to 113 Tuesday.
Timm will face Democrat William Cantrell, who received 180 votes in his
unopposed primary race.
Commented Martin, “Am I disappointed I lost? Certainly, but Ken will do fine
and he has my support. The end of the day the future of the town is what’s
important. I don’t think the vote says people on the Republican side are
Martin also speculated the Town Council’s earlier effort to assume direct
supervision over Park Department employees was misunderstood and never fully
explained. “It was a PR nightmare more than anything. Our message didn’t get
out and resonate.”
Timm, who hugged his wife Lori when the vote totals confirmed his victory at
the Porter County administration center in Valparaiso, said he really likes
Cantrell and challenging him will be tough.
The battle to replace retiring Republican councilman Dave Babcock in Ward 3
saw Rob Pomeroy outlast his GOP primary opponent Ron Bush in a 158 to 112
victory. No Democratic challenger has filed for the seat.
According to Pomeroy, “I was surprised by the turnout today. It was more
than I thought. It was a good sign. I think the people of Porter have
something to say and they voted.”
The night’s other contested primary race saw Democrat Greg Stinson
victorious with 185 votes over William Suarez, who tallied 27. Stinson will
run against Ward 5 incumbent GOP council member Michele Bolliger in the
Bollinger garnered 164 votes as did Republican councilman Trevin Fowler, who
was the lone GOP candidate seeking re-election in Ward 4. His November
opponent, Elka Nelson, also was unopposed and received 211 votes in the
Democratic party’s Ward 4 council contest.
Republican Jeannine Virtue coasted to the Town Council Ward 2 nomination
unopposed with 197 votes; no Democratic challenger has filed. The winner
will replace outgoing GOP councilman Jon Granat, who did not seek
The night’s top vote-getter was incumbent Republican clerk-treasurer Carol
Pomeroy with 215 ballots cast in the four precincts where Porter voters
live. Pomeroy, a Porter resident since 1969, is seeking a third term and
currently has no Democratic opponent.
Rob Pomeroy is Carol Pomeroy’s nephew by marriage.
Candidates and voters alike mingled Tuesday in bi-partisan conversations
outside the busy Porter town hall where voting occurred. Nelson said she and
Stinson worked well across party lines with both Pomeroys, Virtue and Timm
to raise issues and campaign effectively.
Virtue added, “We worked very hard; we want to work together as a group to
get good people in.” As a former newspaper reporter and campaign-committee
volunteer, Virtue said it’s strange to be making news. “I’ve always been
behind the scenes so it’s odd to be here.”
She, as did Stinson, said residents had expressed to them a desire to be
heard and respected by elected officials.
Stinson also said residents told him although they kept reading about big
projects proposed for Porter, their concern was whether enough was being
done to ensure basic town services are provided to make the town run right
Timm, who owns a local Porter business, said, “I’d see most people all day
every day. They were mainly concerned about not what’s being done but how
(town officials) have gone about doing that.”
Porter Beach resident, Nelson said that neighborhood showed a big turnout at
the polls, in part because they haven’t had a candidate from there for some
time and because of concerns over what impact the town’s proposed Gateway
tourism/economic development initiative would have on year-round beachers.
During the campaign Bollinger’s committee sent a mailing to Porter voters
featuring herself, Bush, Fowler and Martin citing jobs, lower property taxes
and quality senior living because of the planned Brickyard Project on Beam
Street, for which the town purchased land for $350,000. Nelson countered
with a newspaper ad detailing results of a previous environmental study of
the site that she said raised serious doubts whether the Brickyard property
should be developed.