Porter County voters face two good choices in this year's District 1 (south) county commissioner's race.
Republican Mike Heinold has plenty of enthusiasm for the job. Heinold, who has extensive experience in the information technology business, is a quick learner.
Heinold's approach to the county's nest egg -- the proceeds from the sale of Porter hospital -- is to protect the principal, but invest the interest in economic development and job creation.
Democrat Laura Shurr Blaney already has government experience from her years on the Porter County Council. Her theme is patience vs. procrastination.
Like Heinold, she favors protecting the principal. When interest rates rise, that will free up more interest money for investing in the county's quality of life. That's patience.
Blaney noted her support of a property tax abatement for Porter Regional Hospital, which led the hospital to build a bigger facility than the agreement with the county required. That will lead to additional taxes as the abatement expires. Again, that's patience.
She was also involved in extending Chesterton utilities for future development, a decision Heinold supports.
Blaney has been working behind the scenes and across party lines on a permanent solution to the problems at the Porter County Animal Shelter.
Her analytical mind helps her make thoughtful, rather than rapid and reactionary, decisions. Her support of the arts is an example. "You can't do things like shut the Memorial Opera House down or not promote the museum" when people moving to Porter County from Chicago are accustomed to cultural amenities, she said. Supporting the county's quality of life pays dividends.
Heinold, focusing on job creation, knows Porter County needs to increase broadband access. That's true. Porter County officials should remember this advice.
So which candidate is best? It's a tough call. They're both good and in this race for the right reasons.
We give a slight nod to Blaney for her experience but encourage Heinold to run for office again in the future.
We endorse Blaney.