VALPARAISO | Porter County Commission President John Evans fended off a re-election challenge Tuesday by former commissioner and current County Councilman Jim Biggs for the Republican nomination for the North District seat.
While Evans does not yet have a challenger for the fall general election, Porter County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Chidester said a couple people have shown interest in being named to the ballot depending on the primary outcome.
A South District commissioner race also shaped up Tuesday between Democrat County Council member Laura Blaney and Republican newcomer Mike Heinold.
Evans, who was watching the poll results from the Silver Spoon restaurant in downtown Valparaiso, said if re-elected, he intends to continue moving forward with efforts such as job creation.
He hoped Biggs and two others on the council would heed the will of voters and stop opposing so many proposals put forth by the commissioners.
"Everything right down the line has been that way," Evans said.
Biggs could not be reached Tuesday evening for comment.
Blaney, who celebrated her victory just a few doors to the west at the Venue, said she was thrilled by the results, which was a bigger spread than she expected.
Blaney said she and her opponent, Jerry Puckett, stuck to a positive campaign that she intends to continue through the fall general election.
She said she is able to work well with Evans and other Republicans, as well as those with differing viewpoints.
Puckett thanked Blaney for sticking to the issues and said he is backing her 100 percent as she prepares for the general election.
"I wish her the best of luck in the fall," he said.
Heinold, a political newcomer and son of former state Sen. Vic Heinold, celebrated his victory over County Councilman Jim Polarek.
"It was a lot more work than I thought," he said from the gathering at the Silver Spoon.
Heinold said his campaign message was one of cooperation and open-mindedness, with a focus on creating jobs and keeping taxes down.
"Two minds are better than one in most cases," he said.
Polarek has two more years to serve on the Porter County Council.
"I'm just going to keep pointing out what I think needs to be addressed," he said.