Lake County

It will be incumbent on dozens of Lake officials to run again in 2014

2014-01-04T17:00:00Z 2014-01-08T10:20:08Z It will be incumbent on dozens of Lake officials to run again in 2014Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
January 04, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A lot of old faces will populate the new year's upcoming election ballot.

Three dozen incumbent Lake politicians will be asking voters for another turn, either in their current office or some new county, township or municipal slot.

In fact, only one elected official has definitely disavowed any future campaign: Hobart Township Assessor Julie Wolek.

"No way. I've served 20 years, and my husband was in office for 36 years," she said last week.

Lowell Town Councilman Phillip Kuiper said he is keeping his options open and cannot yet commit to another run.

Otherwise, expect the familiar when candidate filings open Wednesday, such as Lake County Clerk Mike Brown, Sheriff John Buncich and 1st District County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, who all plan to run for re-election this year.

Brown and Buncich are both looking for a second four-year term. Allen has been in office as one of county government's chief executives since 2006.

Assessor Jolie Covaciu is the newest of all county government incumbents running this year. Republican precinct committeemen selected her Nov. 1 to replace Hank Adams, who died Oct. 6.

County Councilman Jerome Prince, a Gary Democrat, announced late last year he is dropping off the County Council to run instead for county assessor.

The other six County Council members have indicated they will run for re-election this year. They include Democrats Ted Bilski, of Hobart, Christine Cid, of East Chicago, Elsie Franklin, of Gary, and David Hamm, of Hammond, and Republicans Dan Dernulc, of Highland, and Eldon Strong, of Crown Point.

The old switcheroo

Term limits prevent County Auditor Peggy Katona and Treasurer John Petalas from staying put beyond this year, but that doesn't stop them from swapping places, if the voters permit. Petalas will be a candidate for county auditor, and Katona for treasurer.

Township officials lining up for the campaign trail include: Calumet Trustee Mary Elgin and Assessor Jackie Collins, Cedar Creek Trustee Alice Dahl, Center Trustee Paul Bremer and Assessor Kristie Dressel, Eagle Creek Trustee Rosemarie Morrow, Hanover Trustee Mitchel Lopez, Hobart Trustee Tom Silich, North Trustee Frank Mrvan, Ross Trustee Joseph Shudick Jr. and Assessor Angela Guernsey, St. John Trustee Jean Shepherd and Assessor Melody Kikkert and West Creek Trustee Harold Mussman Jr.

Winfield Trustee Rollie Brauer couldn't be reached for comment.

There also will be elections this year for Wards 1, 3 and 5 on the Cedar Lake Town Council; Wards 2, 4 and 5 on the Dyer Town Council; Wards 2 and 4 on the Lowell Town Council; Wards 2 and 4 on the Schererville Town Council; and Ward 3 on the St. John Town Council.

Cedar Lake Councilmen Robert Carnahan and Randell Niemeyer; Dyer Town Council members Debbie Astor, Jeff Dekker and Mary Tanis; Schererville Town Councilmen Kevin Connelly and Tom Schmitt; and St. John Councilman Greg Volk are all expected to run for new terms. 

Cedar Lake Councilman Greg Wornoff and Lowell Councilman Robert Philpot didn't return calls seeking comment.

Democrats also will elect 526 precinct committee officials across the county.

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