VALPARAISO — Democrats took back control of the Porter County Council and county clerk's office during this week's general election.
Republicans held on to control of the board of commissioners, the bench in Superior Court 2, and the county recorder and coroner's posts.
"I am truly humbled and grateful with the results of the election," said Republican Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffery Clymer, who fended off a challenge by Democrat Clay Patton. "I will continue to do my best with every case and every litigant."
Patton, who thanked his family and congratulated Clymer, said, "While I knew that it would not be easy, anything that is worth it never is. I remain committed to making a difference for my clients and my community."
Incumbent Republican Commissioner Jeff Good, who defeated Democrat Donna Perdue for the Center District seat, said, "I would like to thank the citizens of Porter County for their trust in electing me to another four-year term."
"Based on this election debacle, all elected officials in Porter County need to come together to work towards a trusted and efficient election process for all," he said in a written statement.
"The purpose for my re-election was to finish what we have started," Good said. "Fixing neglected things is what we have been doing the past three years and now since the results are finally in we will again break this broken system down and rebuild a new and better one. This is purpose-driven government and I am proud to be part of this journey."
Jessica Bailey, a Portage Democrat, defeated Republican Jon Miller for the Porter County clerk's position. She described the last three days as being on a roller coaster stuck in a tunnel.
"You could see the light at the end of the tunnel, you just couldn't get there," she said Friday.
"I am excited. It was a lot closer than everyone expected. Jon Miller is a stand-up guy," she said, adding the two ran a clean, no mudslinging campaign which was an "ideal situation."
Bailey, director of marketing and community development for the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, said she expects to be under additional scrutiny and to see changes as she takes the new office, which, at present, runs elections in Porter County and has been at the center of controversy since Tuesday.
"Voters are pretty upset and rightly so. We have a lot of uphill work," she said.
Cyndi Dykes, a Republican, defeated Democrat Randy Wilkening for the Porter County coroner's office.
Dykes said she was at lunch Friday when she received a couple of texts from friends telling her she'd won.
"I'm still trying to get it to sink in," said Dykes, adding the situation has been "kind of surreal."
She also praised her opponent.
"I felt that Randy had a lot of education and qualifications and is a great guy," she said.
Democratic Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik fought back a challenge from Republican Porter County Clerk Karen Martin, who is being held largely to blame for the problems with this week's election, which were under her control.