CROWN POINT | Voters will be electing their first new 3rd District Lake County commissioner in nearly a generation, with the upcoming departure of incumbent Fran DuPey who is bowing out after four terms in office.
Republican candidate Mark Leyva, 53, a Highland carpenter, will try his luck again with voters. He has run unsuccessfully a half dozen times against U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky and usually is beaten by a 2-to-1 margin.
Leyva said he opposes a county-owned garbage-to-ethanol plant and the consolidation of E-911 police and fire communication services, calling them boondoggles taxpayers cannot afford. He said he also opposes a local income tax.
Democratic candidate Mike Repay, 37, of Hammond, is in the midst of his first term as one of seven Lake County council members; the council oversees county government spending.
Repay said his proven record of fiscal responsibility on the council shows he has actively resisted a local income tax. He said he supports E-911 consolidation but helped shoot down a proposal to borrow $30 million for it. He said his opposition has led other officials to put together a cheaper and more fiscally sound version of the merger.
The winner will be one of three top executive officials of county government, representing residents of Hammond, Whiting, Munster, Dyer, Highland and part of St. John.