CROWN POINT | Center Township Trustee Elden Strong was elected by a Republican caucus Saturday morning to replace Rick Niemeyer as the Lake County Council's 7th District representative.
The election was held at the new Crown Point Community Library.
"We will work together for what is right for Lake County," Strong said after receiving the majority vote.
There was some confusion at the caucus. While 59 people signed in to vote, 62 votes were cast.
Strong received 35 while his opponents James Cuffia received 24 and Richard Ludlow received three. A voice vote of caucus members accepted that tally as final, eliminating a need for a second round of balloting.
The caucus was necessary to replace Niemeyer, who was elected last month to become a state representative.
Niemeyer said he was pleased with the caucus results.
"I supported Eldon Strong," he said, adding the two were fellow township trustees for years and when Strong decided to go for Niemeyer's job, the two talked.
"He has a basic idea going, and I think he's going to do a great job for the people of Lake County," Niemeyer said.
Before the vote, Strong told caucus members he has a record of standing up against tax increases, is willing to work with both "sides of the aisle" and will "continue to be a strong voice" for his constituents.
Strong, a retired Crown Point police officer, will have to resign his current position as township trustee. Another caucus will have to be held to fill that seat. Strong will fulfill the two years left on Niemeyer's term on the Lake County Council.
Cuffia, a Crown Point resident and an engineer, previously campaigned for the statehouse and the Crown Point City Council. Ludlow, a member of the Schneider Town Council, is a retired state police trooper and is currently an investigator for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.