Lake County Councilman Dan Dernulc said Saturday he will run to chair the county Republican Party.
Dernulc, R-Highland, and Allan Katz, of Center Township, will be vying to replace outgoing Lake County GOP Chairwoman Kim Krull.
While Katz has Krull's endorsement for the spot, Dernulc said he is backed by more than 40 Republican elected officials in the county for the position.
“We have an identity crisis or an identity issue in the way people perceive or look at Lake County Republicans or Republicans in general in Lake County,” Dernulc said. “And I feel we don't have a lot of funds for folks. I feel one of the things I can do and tried to do in Highland when I was town chairman was to try to change the perception and ... sell our party as a party of a different choice for people to have.”
Dernulc said if elected to the chairmanship, the Lake County GOP would not make endorsements in primary elections as a way to eliminate what he contends is the “factionalism” in the current party.
“I believe we also have to raise money to get some good candidates to run some good modern types of campaigns,” Dernulc said.
Dernulc, a local manager with AT&T communications network, was first elected to the County Council in 2010. He also served on the Highland Town Council from 2004 to 2008 and as a gubernatorial appointee on the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission.
Katz has told The Times if elected he will continue the successful policies of Krull and former Chairman John Curley and work to broaden the county GOP base.
Lake County Republican precinct committee members will caucus at 9 a.m. March 2 at St. Elijah Serbian American Hall, 8700 Taft St., Merrillville, to choose a new leader.