CROWN POINT | One potential Republican candidate for a vacant Lake County Council seat said recently he won't be running for the post.
Larry Blanchard, an administrative aide to the Lake County Board of Commissioners, said he will remain in his job as a consultant working on the county's health insurance plan, consolidation of police and fire emergency communication centers and other projects under consideration by the commissioners.
The 7th District seat of the County Council became vacant this week after Rick Niemeyer left to take up new responsibilities in the General Assembly as a state representative.
Kim Krull, Lake County Republican chairwoman, said Wednesday she will call a caucus of Republican precinct committeemen in most of Crown Point, Cedar Lake, Winfield, Lowell and Schneider to elect a replacement within several weeks.
Blanchard served 15 years as the 7th District County Council member before stepping down in 2010. He said he prefers to spend more time with family than on the campaign trail.
Jim Cuffia and Eldon Strong have said they will be candidates for the job.
Cuffia has been Republican chairman for the city of Crown Point and campaigned in recent years for state House District 19 representative and Crown Point City Council.
Strong has been Center Township trustee since 2003. He also has served as a Center Township Board member from 1999 to 2002. He ran last year for Crown Point mayor.
Winfield Town Council President Paulette Skinner said recently she might consider a run for the office.