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LC Dem surveyor caucus Jan. 4

Updated: December 31, 2013 9:53PM

HAMMOND — Lake County Democrats are set to choose their replacement for former Lake County Surveyor George Van Til in a caucus Jan. 4.

Three candidates have come forward so far to vie for the position left vacant after Van Til’s resignation in the wake of his pleading guilty to federal charges of public corruption.

Greg Sanchez, deputy surveyor under Van Til for 17 months, was sworn in to the position following Van Til’s guilty plea. State law calls for the swearing in of the deputy to the post immediately and does not allow for an interim post or for the position to remain vacant while the party fills the slot.

Sanchez will be looking to secure the post for the rest of Van Til’s term, which ends in 2016. He will be up against two other candidates: Bill Emerson Jr. and John Garcia. Garcia lost to Van Til in 2012 primary.

The new surveyor will be selected by the 523 Democratic precinct chairmen. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, the Lake County party chairman, said there is still time for additional candidates to come forward but he is unaware of any other individuals who are interested.

The caucus is open to the public and will be held at the Hammond Civic Center, 5825 Sohl Ave., McDermott said. Only voting members will be allowed on the first floor. Viewing of the caucus by the public will be allowed on the balcony. Doors open at 8 a.m. and will be locked at 9 a.m.

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