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Porter County Democrats swear in November victors

LaurShurr Blaney is joined by family as she is sworn as Porter County Commissioner by Judge Bill Alexduring swearing-ceremony for

Laura Shurr Blaney is joined by family as she is sworn in as a Porter County Commissioner by Judge Bill Alexa during a swearing-in ceremony for elected and re-elected Democrat officials at the Porter County Courthouse in Valparaiso, Ind. Saturday December 22, 2012. With Shurr Blaney are her aunt Jacki Stutzman, daughters Maddie, 15; Isabel, 9; Claire, 5, and son Roger, 7. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 24, 2013 6:45AM



VALPARAISO — With family, friends and fellow party supporters by their sides, Porter County Democrats who won election or re-election for county offices in November took the oath of office Saturday.

“It’s a good day to be a Democrat,” said Jeffrey Chidester, chair of the county’s Democratic party, as the ceremony began in Superior Court IV.

Democrats swept county races in November, retaining both at-large council and commissioners’ seats, and retaining incumbents for surveyor and judge of Superior Court II. Treasurer Mike Bucko, also a Democrat, ran unopposed.

“Some would say, now comes the hard part,” said Superior Court Judge David Chidester, who helped preside over the ceremony with fellow Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa, after he was sworn in. “Once you’re elected, you’re doing your chore or duty.”

For some officials, the ceremony was a family affair. Re-elected Councilwoman Sylvia Graham’s granddaughter, Mary Jancovich, 16, accompanied her.

Likewise, Maddie Blaney, 15, held the Bible for mom Laura Blaney as she was sworn in as commissioner representing the south district. Blaney had held an at-large seat on the council.

Party members also took a moment to recognize Carole Knoblock, who did not seek reelection after serving two terms as commissioner for the south district. She also has served two terms on the council.

“Being a public servant is a thankless job, and we have people who take these jobs because they deeply, deeply care about people and their county,” Jeffrey Chidester said in honoring Knoblock. “Porter County has been blessed to have a lot of good elected officials and the bottom line is, Porter County is a better place because of it.”

After the ceremony, the party chair said 2013, which is an off year for county elections, would give the party time to recruit some candidates and raise money going into 2014.

The two Republicans who won re-election — both were unopposed — were Board of Commissioners President John Evans, representing the north district, and Jeffrey Thode, judge for Superior Court VI. They were sworn in separately.



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