Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez specifically credited the endorsement of Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. for helping Martinez win the election in 2018 as the county's chief law enforcement officer.
Now Martinez is returning the favor.
The sheriff is urging voters in Lake County, and throughout Northwest Indiana, to vote for McDermott to represent the Region in the U.S. House at the June 2 Democratic primary election.
"I have worked closely with Mayor Tom as the Lake County sheriff, and I am confident that he is the only candidate with a proven track record," Martinez said. "Unlike other candidates in this race, Tom does more than just talk — he has the accomplishments to prove it."
In particular, Martinez said McDermott "always prioritized public safety and has strongly supported first responders."
"He has given his front-line officers tools like license plate readers and body cameras to help them do their jobs, fight crime and keep them safe."
At the same time, Martinez said the five-term Hammond mayor has attracted $900 million in economic development projects, helped 6,000 students earn post-secondary credentials through the College Bound scholarship program, and overseen $300 million in road and bridge improvements.
"Tom has the passion, knowledge and experience to really make a difference in Congress," Martinez said. "I know that with his determination and drive he will arrive in Washington, D.C. ready to fight on behalf of the entire 1st Congressional District."
The sheriff's endorsement comes as elected officials and organizations throughout the Region, state and nation line up behind their favored candidates ahead of the upcoming primary election.
Last week, Brand New Congress, a group working to elect members of Congress "who put people before party to make government more accountable and responsive to the needs of all Americans" endorsed Democratic Valparaiso attorney Jim Harper for the House.
"It's Brand New Congress' mission to support candidates who have a long track record of service in their communities," said Zeynab Day, BNC communications director.
"Jim Harper's advocacy as a public defender, veteran's rights advocate, and his fight for free and fair elections showcase his commitment to his community. He represents the kind of change we need to see in Congress."
Separately, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers last week was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.