There are five contested races for Lake County voters on Tuesday. We'll take them one by one.
District 1, Democrat
Incumbent Dave Hamm is running against Antonio Daggett Sr. in the 1st District.
Daggett has many ideas for improving county government, but they are largely reforms that have already begun. Since Hamm took office, for example, the county has 400 fewer employees.
We endorse Hamm for the Democratic nomination in the 1st District.
District 2, Democrat
Incumbent Elsie Franklin is challenged by Arcella Moxley, Andrew Ledbetter and Carol-Ann Seaton in the 2nd District.
Franklin and Moxley were unable to meet with us.
Seaton faces a pending misdemeanor charge against her following the controversial Lake County assessor election four years ago, and Ledbetter lacked the conservative — not ultra conservative, but moderate — attitude needed for the job. He suggested employee raises as a priority, for example.
We make no endorsement in this race.
District 2, Republican
Catherine Campbell faces Eugene Rhymer in this race. Campbell has run for office multiple times, and means well, but doesn't seem to have the knowledge it takes to understand how county government works and how spending should be controlled. Rhymer was unable to meet with us.
We offer no endorsement in this race.
District 3, Democrat
This is a lively race, pitting Jamal Washington against Ron Matlock.
Matlock is on the Calumet Township Board. Washington, who has 13 years of information technology experience in Dolton and Gary, runs the private school company that serves Gary Community School Corp.
There's enough mud in this race to make an adobe village. We strongly encourage readers to watch the video of this interview to learn more about the candidates than will fit in this space.
We offer a cautious endorsement of Washington.
District 5, Democrat
Incumbent Christine Cid faces Juda Parks and Alberto Ochoa Sr.
Parks did not participate in our interview.
Cid is a rebel on the council. She currently works for the county but plans to retire so she avoids running afoul of the new state conflict of interest law that forbids local government employees from serving on the governing board of that same unit of government.
Ochoa, an East Chicago dispatcher, complained about E-911 consolidation. The time for complaining ended years ago, however. It's time now to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Cid has put pressure on the council to continue to cut. We appreciate her cautious approach to budget issues.
We endorse Cid for the Democratic nomination for Lake County Council in the 5th District.
Lake County Council candidates should be knowledgeable about county government and be both practical and fiscally conservative. Our endorsements reflect that belief.