CROWN POINT | Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub may be in the autumn of his years, but he was in season with voters.
The 77-year-old Scheub won re-election Tuesday night to his fifth term as 2nd District county commissioner by defeating 51-year-old Republican Jerry Tippy, a Schererville town councilman and general manager of an Illinois steel fabricating firm.
"A lot of people still believe in what we are doing. It was a hard campaign, and it will be my last," Scheub said.
Tippy promised to bring a new, businesslike approach to county government, but Scheub countered he had 16 years of on-the-job-training in directing essential government services from snowplowing to sand bagging during floods.
Scheub said he now must help address the threat of budget-busting public safety issues. "Crime, drugs and gangs are the big problem, and we have to make this a safer, better county," Scheub said.
The American Legion Post 430 in Merrillville, where Scheub, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky and Lake Coroner Merrilee Frey held court Tuesday night was a gathering of party lights young and old, including former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick, who said he will be 85 this month.
Scheub waited until 9 p.m. to officially thank his supporters after hearing he was leading Tippy substantially with 90 percent of the district's precincts counted.
Scheub's re-election was put in doubt a year ago by a mandatory remapping of the 2nd District seat on the Board of Commissioners that stripped him of reliable Democratic bastions in Lake Station, New Chicago and Hobart.