Buncich seeks Lake Dem chairmanship
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent May 20, 2014 5:34PM
Updated: June 24, 2014 6:29AM
CROWN POINT — The race for the chairmanship of the Lake County Democratic Party is shaping up to be a battle between the old guard and the new, as Sheriff John Buncich on Tuesday announced that he will seek to replace Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.
“I have been asked by numerous public officials, party officials and precinct committeemen and women to run for chairman so that our Lake County Democratic Party has continued leadership,” Buncich said.
Buncich, who’s also running for re-election as sheriff, is the second candidate to declare his candidacy for the position.
County Commissioner Michael Repay, D-Hammond, a relative newcomer serving his first term on the board of commissioners, indicated Friday that he wanted to head the county party — emailing the county’s elected officials of his intent shortly after McDermott announced his resignation. The caucus to elect the new chairman is scheduled for June 28.
Speculation on other possible candidates has centered on Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Lake County Clerk Michael Brown and union official Randy Palmateer.
Buncich described McDermott’s leadership of the party as outstanding and said he wanted to “continue that strong leadership by maintaining the participation of all cities and towns and organized labor in our decision making.”
He said Lake County, a Democratic stronghold, has been neglected by the Republican-dominated state government, and it’s time for the region to receive its fair share of state resources.
“I’ll work to improve conditions for every community in Lake County,” Buncich said.