Election 2011

Incumbent Porter County mayors top opponents in fundraising

2011-10-21T20:30:00Z 2012-01-13T19:55:17Z Incumbent Porter County mayors top opponents in fundraisingBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Porter County's two incumbent mayors have raised far more money in their re-election bids than their opponents, according to candidate financial disclosure forms that were due Friday.

Democratic Portage Mayor Olga Velazquez, who is the only mayoral candidate who had to fund a primary race in May, led the way with $79,582 in contributions since April 9 and had available $179,565 for the year.

Her Republican challenger, James Snyder, reported contributions of $59,540 since April, for a total of $73,985 for the year.

Fellow Democrat Donna Pappas, who made a failed attempt to unseat Velazquez during the primary election, reported having $4,282 for the year.

Meanwhile, Republican Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas reported contributions of $76,744 since April and had available $87,074 for the year.

His challenger, independent Robert "Bob" McCasland, had a reported $5,282 for the year.

Top contributors to Velazquez's campaign include Ironworkers Local 395 in Portage at $3,300; engineer Greg Henneke, of Indianapolis, at $2,700; Boilermakers Local 374 at $2,500; former Porter County Commissioner Bob Harper at $2,000; Republic Services, of Phoenix, at $2,000; and $1,600 from Rhame and Elwood, which serves as city's law firm.

Snyder's top individual contributors include Crossroads PAC, of Schererville, at $8,563; International Longshoremen's Association at $5,950; Indiana Republican State Committee at $5,000; Porter County Republicans at $4,500; Alex and Lisa Gariup, of Munster, at $2,000; Matthew Gariup, of Gary, at $2,000; and $1,500 each from Splash of Lake Station, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 in Countryside, Ill., Indiana Realtors Political Action Committee and Goodrich Quality Theaters of Kentwood, Mich.

Top contributors to Costas' campaign include Kurt and Kimberly Minko, of Crown Point, at $5,000; Matthew Gariup, of Gary, at $4,250; Willis Conner, of Indianapolis, at $3,500; Valparaiso Firefighters PAC at $3,000; Sound Construction, of Valparaiso, at $3,000; Donald and Edna Weiss, of Chicago, at $2,500; Barnes & Thornburg, of Indianapolis, at $2,500; Royal Brush Manufacturing, of Munster, at $2,000; Bargain Barn, of Valparaiso, at $2,000; DLZ, of Burns Harbor, at $1,750; and County Commissioner Nancy Adams at $1,000.

McCasland did not itemize his contributions and lists a $1,700 debt to himself and his wife.

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