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Porter County Administration Center

The Porter County Administration Center is on Indiana Avenue in downtown Valparaiso.

VALPARAISO — Porter County's candidate filing period closed at noon Friday without last minute additions.

Voters in both parties will get a chance this spring to name the next Porter County Coroner.

Thomas Ampeliotis and Cyndi Dykes, of Valparaiso, will contest the May 8 Republican primary race. Dale Bagnall and Randy Wilkening will compete in the Democrat primary for coroner. The winners in the two primary races will face off in the fall general election.

One will replace Coroner Chuck Harris, who is stepping down because of term limits and running unopposed this spring as a Republican candidate for county recorder.

Harris said he backs Ampeliotis. "He has volunteered in my office without pay and is licensed as a medicolegal death investigator," Harris said.

Ampeliotis' campaign website states he has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement and the security industry, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and master's degrees in business administration and public administration.

Dykes is a certified histology technician at the pathology department at Porter Regional Hospital and has worked at the family business, Dykes Funeral Home.

Bagnall, who works at Moeller Funeral Home in Valparaiso, has been a deputy coroner under Harris for three years. Wilkening's Facebook campaign page states he is a certified paramedic and a firefighter for 30 years.

Chesterton Town Councilman Emerson DeLaney is challenging Porter County Councilman Andy Bozak in the District 1 council seat in the Republican primary.

Bozak was elected to the council a year ago by Republican precinct officials to complete the final two years of the term of Jim Biggs, who resigned to return to the Porter County Board of Commissioners after being away for 16 years.

The winner of the Bozak and DeLaney race will face Democrat Bob Poparad, who previously held the seat until his defeat in 2010 by Biggs. Poparad is running unopposed in his party's primary.

Porter County Prosecutor Brian T. Gensel is running unopposed this spring for re-election. He will face defense attorney Gary S. Germann, a Democrat.

Recorder Jon C. Miller is running for clerk and is unopposed this spring. Clerk Karen Martin is running for auditor and is unopposed this spring. She will face off with incumbent Auditor Vicki Urbanik this fall.

In the Democratic primary, these candidates are running unopposed this spring for county government offices: Sheriff David Reynolds, Jessica A. Bailey for clerk, Lily M. Schaefer for recorder, Donna Perdue for 2nd District commissioner, Jeremy Rivas for 2nd District Council and Greg Simms for 3rd District Council.

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey L. Thode is running unopposed for re-election for Courtroom 6. Newly appointed Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer is also running unopposed in the Republican primary and Valparaiso attorney Clay M. Patton is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for Porter Superior Courtroom 2. They will face each other this fall in the general election.

There are three township trustee races: Howard L. O'Connor is challenging Boone Township Trustee Russell "Rusty" Franzman; Matt Keiser is challenging Liberty Township Trustee Beth A. Underwood; and Karyl VanDyke is challenging Pleasant Township Trustee Jean C. Oehlman.


Lake County Reporter

Bill has reported in Lake County since 1972 after graduating from Indiana University. He has worked for The Times since 1997, covering the courts and local government during much of his tenure. Born and raised in New Albany, Ind., he is a native Hoosier.