CROWN POINT | Voters gave Lake County's oldest political campaigner one of his hardest-fought victories.
Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, 76, of Crown Point, won nomination to a fifth term as 2nd District county commissioner by defeating 58-year-old former Sheriff Roy Dominguez and 53-year-old Merrillville manager consultant Kenneth "Ken" White in Tuesday's Democratic primary.
Scheub will face off this fall against Schererville Town Councilman Jerry Tippy, who won the Republican primary Tuesday. He defeated Republicans Daniel Langmesser and Kenneth Stevenson.
Tippy said Tuesday night, "I had the proven experience in municipal government. I look forward to the fall, and I'm going to work hard, and my intention is to win."
The prize is to be one of county government's top three executives, representing a district that includes: Merrillville, Schererville, Winfield, Crown Point, Cedar Lake, most of St. John, Lowell, Schneider and 95 percent of the county's unincorporated townships.
Scheub received congratulations Tuesday night from a crowd of supporters at Merrillville's American Legion Hall.
"All this means that what I've been doing for 15 years has been accepted. Those who said the people were tired of it, they were wrong. When people call, I respond. I'm out at 7:30 a.m. every morning in the office unless I'm meeting somebody, and people appreciated that," Scheub said.
Scheub's political career includes more than 20 political victories dating back to the days of wide ties, long sideburns and disco floors. He served as St. John Township trustee from 1975 to 1994 and has been county commissioner since 1996.
Scheub often has called himself the mayor of more than half the county, considering himself responsible for making sure every road in the rural unincorporated areas was plowed and in good repair.
He is considered a hero by many for casting one of the two votes to kill a 1 percent local income tax brewing five years ago.
He faced a tougher opponent this spring in Dominguez, who served as county sheriff from 2003 to 2010. Dominguez used attack mailers to hammer Scheub for supporting a proposal to build a $300 million plant to convert municipal garbage to ethanol in Schneider, claiming the idea was unrealistic at best.
Scheub argued the plant would generate jobs and local government revenue.
Scheub said he knows he is in for another fight this fall against Tippy. "But I'm not tired," Scheub said.