HAMMOND | Longtime Hammond firefighter and former City Council member David Hamm was chosen Saturday morning to replace Mike Repay as the Lake County Council's 1st District representative.
Hamm received 35 votes to 23 received by his opponent, Phil Golden. The caucus of Democrat precinct committee chairmen was held at the Hammond Civic Center.
Hamm will replace Repay on Jan. 1 when Repay takes his seat with the Lake County Board of Commissioners. There are two years left on Repay's term on the council. Repay won the commissioner's seat in November's election.
"I thought this was an opportunity to get back into government," Hamm said about why he filed to replace Repay.
Hamm has been active in the Democratic Party since 1977. He served as a police officer in the city from 1978 to 1980 and as a firefighter from 1980 until his retirement this year. He also served three terms on the Hammond City Council, resigning from the council eight years ago to become the city's fire chief.
"He wasn't my choice, but I have no doubt that he is going to do the job well," said Repay, who, as a commissioner, will be working with Hamm and other members of the County Council.
"I'm not going to jump in as the new guy. I'm going to take my time, be patient and learn from my colleagues," said Hamm, adding he believes getting a handle on the county's financial situation will be his top priority when he takes office.
Golden has worked 16 years in the social services field. He is a precinct committeeman in the 4th District and has served on the city's Redevelopment Commission for the past three years.