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Dan Dernulc

Dan Dernulc

Ahead of the May primary, The Times Editorial Board endorsed Lake County Councilman Dan Dernulc for the Republican nomination.

For the very same reasons then, we endorse Dernulc, of Highland, for reelection to his 4th District Lake County Council seat at Tuesday's general election polls.

It would be easy for Dernulc, who also is chairman of the Lake County Republican Party, to vehemently take up the party line in his elected office.

Instead, he has become a voice of bipartisanship respected by Democratic and Republicans on the council.

We live in an era in which it's increasingly difficult to find cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. And as only one of two Republicans on the seven-person council, it would be easy for Dernulc to become overpowered or lost in the shuffle.

Instead, Dernulc's respected statesmanship has earned him the endorsement of Lake County Council President David Hamm, a longtime Hammond Democrat.

Hamm's endorsement is offered, despite Dernulc facing a Democratic opponent in Barry Halgrimson, of Munster.

That is significant and can't be ignored.

In May, we noted that maintaining a bipartisan balance without auctioning off one's core values, while also serving a greater constituency, is a hallmark of successful government leaders.

Dernulc embodies these qualities.

Dernulc appropriately was a harsh critic of runaway overtime in the Lake County Jail under disgraced former Sheriff John Buncich.

When a felony bribery conviction removed Buncich from office, Dernulc supported the efforts of new Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. to begin fixing the problem by eliminating unauthorized labor practices among some jailers.

While he remains a fiscal conservative, Dernulc also realizes quality in county hiring can't be achieved without competitive pay rates and benefits that attract qualified, rather than patronage, employees.

Dernulc is a clear choice to remain on the council.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.