VALPARAISO | Porter County Councilwoman Sylvia Graham, D-at-large, helped kick off a slow start to this year's election season Wednesday morning by filing as a candidate for the Center District seat on the Porter County Board of Commissioners.
"I always like to file early," said Graham, who was the first candidate to appear at the county voter registration office.
"I pride myself as being fiscally responsible, promoting public safety initiatives, economic development, drug prevention and rehabilitation programs, parks, and a cost efficient county government," said Graham, who is starting her second term on the council.
Candidates have until noon Feb. 7 to file for various races at the national, state, county and municipal levels.
School board candidates are eligible to file July 23 to Aug. 22, and voting in those races takes place during the general election Nov. 4.
Candidates are required for the first time this year to fill out a second form revealing economic interests, said Kathy Kozuszek, who serves as Democratic director at the Porter County Voter Registration office.
The forms asks for the identity of the employer and the nature of the work for both candidates and their spouses, as well as assorted other financial interests.
The only other major candidate to show up within the first hour or so Wednesday was Republican Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris, who is seeking a second term.
"I do love the job," he said.
Harris, who also works as funeral director, oversees a staff of seven deputies.
Others who filed Wednesday include Harold Lush and David Reynolds, Democrats for Porter County sheriff; Terry Whitten, Democrat for Portage Township Board; and Jean Oehlman, Republican for Pleasant Township trustee.