CROWN POINT | Voters elected the youngest Lake County commissioner in a generation Tuesday night.
Democrat Mike Repay, 37, of Hammond, will join 64-year-old Roosevelt Allen, of Gary, and 77-year-old commissioner Gerry Scheub, of Crown Point, on the three-member Board of Commissioners. They serve as county government's top executives in matters of county government personnel and award work to outside contractors.
Repay defeated Republican candidate Mark Leyva, 53, a Highland carpenter, best known for having made a half dozen unsuccessful challenges to U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky.
"I'm excited voters picked me and by a big margin. I'm anxious to get to work and anxious to take on the next challenge," Repay said.
He said he expects to finish out the year on the County Council, where he represents Hammond. He would take office as commissioner Jan. 1.
Repay comes from a well-known political family. His brother Dan Repay and his father, Edward Repay, served for years on the Hammond City Council. Voters elected Mike Repay to represent Hammond on the Lake County Council two years ago.
Tuesday night's election had none of the drama of the spring primary where Mike Repay ran against two veteran north county politicians, Peter Katic and Richard J. Novak, and won by only 28 votes.
Repay said he ran on a record of proven fiscal responsibility on the council and opposition to a local income tax.
He will represent residents of Hammond, Whiting, Munster, Dyer, Highland and part of St. John on the Board of Commissioners.