Chesterton Tribune



Finance reports reveal who is backing who in primary election campaigns

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The Porter County Sheriff’s race still claims the biggest war chests in the last few weeks before the 2014 primary elections.

All candidates were required to report their contributions and expenditures from Jan. 1 to April 11 by Monday at noon at the County Voters Registration Office.

Democratic Sheriff candidate David Reynolds reported $42,446 from that period plus $25,991 cash on hand, bringing his total to $68,437. That figure towers over his opponent's in the May 6 election, Harold S. Lush. It also dwarfs the reported funds raised by Republican candidate Mike Brickner.

Reynolds’ report said he’s raised $32,776 from the fundraisers he’s given. Outside of that, Reynolds’ biggest backers are the Iron Workers Local 395 IPAL, of Hammond, with a $1,000 donation, and the Northern Indiana Operators Joint Labor Management PAC, of Countryside, Ill., also with $1,000.

Other donations of $500 or more to Reynolds include Daniel Urschel, of Valparaiso ($500); IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund, of Washington D.C. ($500); Dental Associates - James W. Cahillane, of Hobart ($500); Bentley’s Towing, of Valparaiso ($500); Generic USA Limited, of Orlando, Fla. ($500); and the Porter County Democratic Central Committee ($500).

Meanwhile, Brickner indicated his campaign committee took in $22,525 in contributions for the reporting period.

Brickner’s top individual donors include Thorgren Tool and Molding, of Valparaiso, ($2,000); Robert and Elizabeth Ross of Reynoldsburgh, Ohio ($1,500); Task Force Tips owner Stewart and Kathryn MacMillan, of Valparaiso ($1,000); Sandra and Bruce Roth, of Valparaiso ($1,000); J.T.C.S. Inc., of Valparaiso ($1,000); the Committee to Elect (County Commissioner president John) Evans ($1,000); and the Committee to Elect Jonathan Costas ($1,000).

Lush reported no contributions were made to his campaign.

Commissioner race

One of the bigger countywide races is that of Porter County Commissioner 2nd District, where challengers Jeff Good and William LaFever are vying to unseat Nancy Adams on the Republican ticket.

Out of the three, Good had the greatest intake of contributions, with $18,112.

Good received $2,500 from Mark Forszt who owns the Harley-Davidson shop in Valparaiso as his biggest donation from an individual. Another $2,500 came from 68 Lincolnway LLC.

Other top contributors for Good include Indiana Realtor PAC, of Indianapolis ($2,000); John and Catherine Peterman, of Valparaiso ($1,000); Citizens for (Portage Mayor James) Snyder ($500); A.C. Incorporated, of Valparaiso ($500 in-kind donation); Art Hill Ford, of Hobart ($500); Denise Wilson, of Valparaiso ($500); Deno and Marlene Yiankes, of Valparaiso ($500); and Jason and Lori Gilliana, of Valparaiso ($500).

He also reported a $1,000 donation from Good Hospitality Inc., of which he is president.

Good’s opponent LaFever reported no contributions other than a $344.74 expenditure made by himself for the purchase of yard signs.

Adams’ campaign committee reported a balance of $3,984, including $1,234 cash on hand.

Her few contributions include a $500 loan to herself and $2,500 given by the Portage-based Lunch Pail Republicans. She also garnered a $250 direct contribution from Hasse Construction Company in Calumet City, Ill.

Running unopposed on the Democrat ballot for Commissioner District 2 is current County Council at-large member Sylvia Graham. Her campaign efforts have garnered about $15,000 in contributions so far.

Graham’s report showed contributions of $1,000 from County Council President Dan Whitten, D-at Large, and Iron Workers Local 395 IPAL, of Hammond. Pitching in $500 is Valparaiso cardiovascular physician Hector Marchand. She also reported $250 donations from Boilermakers Local 374, of Hammond; IBFW Local 531, of LaPorte; Northern Indiana Operators Joint Labor Management PAC, of Countryside, Ill.; and Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades, of Munster.

Adding to Graham’s total is South County Commissioner Democrat Laura Blaney with a donation of $200. She also received $100 each from County Treasurer Mike Bucko and former Portage Mayor Doug Olson.

Council District 1

In another contested race, County Council District 1 candidate Republican Kyle Yelton is actively building up support in his challenge to Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, who is seeking a second term.

Yelton reported a total of $15,007 in campaign contributions and receipts as of April 11, most of which came from fundraisers he’s held.

The single largest donation Yelton’s received is from Valparaiso resident Janet El-Naggar, $2,100. His other supporters include Task Force Tips owner and Valparaiso resident Stewart McMillian, along with his wife Kathryn ($1,000); Crown Point businessman Michael Neal ($1,000); and Michael and Rebecca Hogan, of Chesterton ($500).

Giving $1,000 each to Yelton were the Committee to Elect (John) Evans and the Friends of Ed Soliday Committee. Yelton also received help from Center District Commissioner Nancy Adams with a $250 gift from her and her husband, Russ Adams.

A loan of $2,000 was made by Yelton’s campaign consultant and Valparaiso resident Kara Slusser.

Biggs reported roughly half of what Yelton did with $7,965 total in contributions and receipts.

His largest individual supporter is Andrew B. Isshak -- whose listed address is White Lake, Mich. - with $1,500.

Others giving to Biggs’ reelection campaign are the Indiana Realtor PAC, of Indianapolis ($1,000); Mark Forszt, of Valparaiso ($500); Circle “R” Electric, Inc. of Portage ($500); H.R. Dimensions Inc., of Carmel, Ind. ($500); Lunch Pail Republicans PAC Local 150, of Portage ($500); and Northern Indiana Operators Joint Labor Management PAC, of Countryside, Ill. ($500).


Another large war chest belongs to Kathy Kozuszek who is the Democratic challenger for the County Clerk’s race.

Kozuszek is unopposed in the primary but already her campaign has raised $12,997. Of that, $5,000 is a loan Kozuszek herself made to her campaign.

Following that, her largest individual donation comes from a “Mr. and Mrs. Oprisko” of Portage, worth $500. She also received $250 from County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Chidester.

Rhame and Elwood law offices in Portage gave $350 to Kozuszek. Giving $100 each were the campaign committees of County Council member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, and Treasurer Mike Bucko.

Labor unions contributing at least $200 each are Boilermakers Local 374, of Hammond; Northern Indiana Operators Joint Labor Management PAC, of Countryside, Ill.; Labors Local 41 Boosters Fund, of Hammond; Local 6787 Political Education and Legislative Fund, of Portage; and USW Local 6103, of Portage.

The incumbent Clerk Karen Martin, who is unopposed in the Republican primary, reported she hasn’t taken in any donations except for $100 she’s loaned herself.


County Recorder Jon Miller is saying he has raised and spent $0 on his campaign for reelection so far since his Republican primary race is uncontested, but his Democratic challenger Scott Williams is ready to do battle in November.

Williams reports a total of $10,187 for the pre-primary reporting period in contributions.

Some of his biggest contributors are USW 6103, of Portage ($500); Ironworkers Local 395, of Portage ($500); John Dudley, of Marietta, Ga. ($250); the Citizens for (State Rep.) Chuck Moseley ($200); and Williams himself, with a $2,216 loan.

Assessor, Auditor

Meanwhile, all is mostly quiet in the races for County Assessor and County Auditor.

The auditor’s race will be between Republican incumbent Robert “Bob” Wichlinski and Democrat Vicki Urbanik.

Wichlinski reported no new contributions with $1,306 in cash on hand. Urbanik reported a $1,304 loan to herself and a $211 contribution from Burns Harbor Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan.

County Assessor Jon Snyder reported he has had no donations so far this year but his committee does have $13,952 on hand. He is running unopposed in the Republican primary and no Democrat has filed to challenge him.

More reports online

The revamped Porter County website,, has made available all campaign finance reports under the Elections tab in the Government drop-down menu. Residents can view the reports in their entirety free of charge.




Posted 4/22/2014