RICH JAMES: Dominguez needs more than a smile to win

2013-10-02T00:00:00Z RICH JAMES: Dominguez needs more than a smile to winBy Rich James nwitimes.com
October 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Former Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez is suggesting there is a hew and cry for him to run for county auditor.

I suggest he has a hearing problem.

He also said there are those who want him to run again next year for sheriff.

I would suggest he’s lost touch with reality.

In saying he won’t run for sheriff, Dominguez said, “I believe there are two good candidates who would make excellent sheriffs, Oscar Martinez and Richard Ligon.”

I would suggest he has become delusional. The people of Lake County will make a big mistake if they don’t re-elect Sheriff John Buncich.

But, back to Roy and his skewed thought process.

Dominguez wants back into elected office because he misses being in the spotlight.

A few months after leaving the sheriff’s job on Jan. 1, 2011, he launched a quest for county commissioner because, well, because there probably was a hue and cry.

But Commissioner Gerry Scheub — a barnacled, old-school politician — brushed off Dominguez as if he were a fly on his shoulder.

Now Roy is back for another bite of the apple. He wants to be auditor because there won’t be an incumbent in the race.

Auditor Peggy Holinga Katona can’t run again because of term limits and is a candidate for treasurer, where John Petalas has the same term-limit problem and is running for auditor.

Dominguez said running the largest budget in the county as sheriff qualifies him to be auditor.

But Petalas, because of his experience as Merrillville clerk-treasurer and county treasurer, is eminently more qualified.

I suspect Dominguez wants to take on Petalas because he thinks he can’t beat Holinga Katona. While Petalas is a laid-back guy, don’t sell him short — he can work a room with the best of them.

I think Roy has become a little full of himself. Smiling like the Cheshire Cat can’t buy one votes forever.

But Roy says he has all the tools.

“I bring administrative experience as well as my legal background, so I understand the fiscal and budgetary process of the county,” Dominguez said.

But that administrative experience was nowhere to be found during the end of his second term as sheriff.

That is when some police officers were indicted by the feds on weapons charges. No one accused Roy of doing anything wrong, but that whole gun mess left a bad aftertaste.

I have to wonder if that is one of the reasons he lost so badly to Scheub.

I tell you, Roy, give up this whim of the week about running for auditor.

After all, remember what happened to the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland." The cat gradually faded away until only its grin remained.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at rjames@219.com. The opinions are the writer’s.

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