CROWN POINT | Summer is winding down, but election season is gearing up for mayoral candidates.

Incumbent Mayor David Uran is taking his message to the people during off-work hours behind the wheel of a movable headquarters in a specially outfitted van.

"It's a mobile office," Uran said of the vehicle, which is equipped to handle a tailgate-style cookout as easily as a campaign literature blitz.

Eldon Strong, in his first run for mayor, is headed door to door in his free time on a Segway — a two-wheeled, stand-up personal transporter.

"It helps me get around in the neighborhoods," Strong said. "I've got a lot of ground to cover."

Uran, a Democrat, and Strong, a Republican, will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

Uran, 43, a former Crown Point police officer, said he'll build on accomplishments of his four-year term, including steps taken to alleviate flooding, improved communication between city government and residents, and projects that will position the city for continued growth and increased revenue.

"Our slogan has been Building a Stronger Community From Within," Uran said. "We're going to continue to use that format over the next four years."

Strong, 58, who retired this year after 35 years with the Police Department and who is in his third term as Center Township trustee, said his message to voters is simple.

"We need to focus on reducing spending," Strong said. "We need to concentrate on the important needs and not the wishful wants." Those needs include safety, streets, sidewalks, sewers, services, Strong said.

"I'm a conservative," Strong said. "I believe in saving, then spending, whenever possible. I do that in my personal life and in my public life."

Strong said he's running a grass-roots campaign. "My campaign is at the voters' doorstep, letting them know what I believe in."

Uran said his re-election campaign continues what he's doing.

"My administration is hands-on," Uran said. "I'm about getting out there, going to people's homes and talking to them."

Party affiliation won't be what decides the outcome, both candidates said.

"People no longer look at R's and D's," Strong said. "They look at the person. We still have a two-party system, but they look at the person for what their values are."

"The people in Crown Point recognize that it's a person's ability to do the job that's important," Uran said.

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