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Voters have put their confidence in Christopher Anderson to restore trust in Lake Station and bring progress to the city.

Anderson, a Democrat, will be the city's next mayor after defeating Republican Edward “Ed” Peralta in Tuesday's general election.

Anderson said the city faces many challenges, but he's ready to heal the “black eye hovering over Lake Station.”

The city's reputation was tarnished when former Mayor Keith Soderquist was removed from office Sept. 11. A U.S. District Court jury found him and his wife, Deborah, guilty of improperly using funds from Soderquist's campaign fund and the city's food pantry account to gamble.

Anderson said an initial step in bringing integrity and accountability back to Lake Station will be joining the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission.

Lake Station also is facing drastic budgetary issues, and Anderson has said he wants to focus on bringing more businesses to the city to help address Lake Station's declining assessed value.

He told residents their concerns will be heard and he will ensure there is transparency in Lake Station.

In Hammond, Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. cruised to an unprecedented fourth term Tuesday, appearing to handily defeat Republican challenger Humberto Prado. The win makes McDermott the longest serving mayor in Hammond history.

A packed house of supporters, many of them city employees and department heads, cheered as McDermott declared victory at his Indianapolis Boulevard headquarters Tuesday.

He dubbed a "pro-Hammond" approach to projects as the reason for electoral success.

"If it's not pro-Hammond, we're not going to do it," McDermott said.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson also easily won re-election in Gary.

"I think people see visible signs of progress," said Freeman-Wilson at her election headquarters Tuesday evening. "Streets paved, buildings being torn down - major buildings like the Sheraton and the Ambassador Hotel, the buildings on Broadway, development occuring at the airport and the downtown corridor.

"They're seeing jobs coming to Gary and police and fire got raises. A lot of these things we had not seen in years," Freeman-Wilson said.

While some of the reason some of these things were not done in the past was because of the city's financial condition and property tax caps, she also credited the team she brought in for the progress being made in the city now.  

Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor, 56, defeated on Tuesday his Republican opponent, Larry Brown, by a 4-1 ratio.

Snedecor, a Democrat, won a third term in the city where he has served as a public servant for most of his life.

"This is the third time. It's kind of sweet," Snedecor announced during his victory speech at Ambassador Banquets.

Snedecor said he doesn't think his opponent gave voters credit they would seek the truth on issues, including Fire Station No. 2 and the detention center.

"We spoke the truth; we spoke the facts and the voters responded in a loud voice," Snedecor said.

Brown, 72, a retired electrician with Local 697 and a former Lake County court security officer, was seeking his first public office.

In East Chicago, the mayoral race was determined in May when Anthony Copeland was elected the Democratic candidate in the predominantly Democratic city. Copeland's campaign headquarters was converted into a church, and a new welcome sign declares him the mayor of a city of hope and progress.

Copeland said he plans to focus his second term on infrastructure projects and helping residents become first-time homeowners.

"To keep the city on a sound, stable fiscal road," he said. "And to keep improving the everyday quality of life for our residents."


Regional News Editor


Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.