SCHERERVILLE | A veteran behind-the-scenes counselor to Democratic Party figures will be out front this spring as a candidate for the state Legislature.
Jim Wieser announced Tuesday he will be a candidate for 15th House District in the spring Democratic primary "after much soul-searching and encouragement and support from families, friends and neighbors."
He said he will file his paperwork next week in Indianapolis to become a state representative for Dyer, Schererville, most of St. John and part of Griffith.
State Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville, is currently the only candidate on the ballot for the district.
Wieser said he has known Slager for years.
"So if we meet in the fall, the campaign will be fought only on the issues," he said.
Wieser said he recognizes the challenge of running in the 15th House District, where many of the county's Republicans live.
Wieser has been elected in the past to the Highland Town Council and Lake County Council, where he served as president, but hasn't campaigned in more than a quarter of a century. He has served as a municipal attorney for Schererville and legal adviser to a number of elected officials and candidates, including the county elections board.
"It has been awhile since I have been a candidate for public office. But I bring with my candidacy a renewed sense of energy, enthusiasm and purpose," Wieser said.
His candidacy is part of an aggressive campaign by Democrats to skin back a large Republican majority in the statehouse. Lowell Town Councilman Phillip Kuiper is running for the south county 11th District House seat being vacated by Rep. Rick Niemeyer, who will be running for the state Senate.