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Lake County clerk joins race to be party chairman

Michael A. Brown ORG XMIT: CST1405211313309045

Michael A. Brown ORG XMIT: CST1405211313309045

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Updated: June 24, 2014 7:34AM



CROWN POINT — Lake County Clerk Mike Brown said he plans to run for chairman of the county’s Democratic organization.

Brown on Wednesday confirmed speculation that had been circulating since Friday, when the current chairman, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., announced he planned to resign.

Brown joins a field of candidates that includes County Commissioner Michael Repay, D-Hammond, and Sheriff John Buncich. The caucus to pick the party’s new leader is scheduled June 28.

“It’s time for me to come out,” Brown said, adding he had been talking to friends, family and other precinct committee members and was hoping a meeting would take place before candidates began announcing their intention to run for the post.

“I want to thank the county chair for his leadership in bringing the party this far,” Brown said, adding he would like to continue to build on the inclusion McDermott has created within the party.

The clerk described himself as a committed party person who “believes in the city I live in, Gary, and the county I live in, Lake.”

He said the new chairman will have to work not only in Lake County but across the state to help push the Democratic agenda forward.

Brown has served two terms as vice chairman of the Gary Democrats and has been deputy district chairman of the state party since 2009. He has been a member of the county election board since he was elected clerk.

“Those relationships I have in the state, county and city make me feel I can be a part of the leadership,” Brown said.

He describes himself as someone who believes in delegating power to people who have skills and will do so if elected. He said the party will need to look past Lake County and work throughout the state if it plans to elect a Democratic governor in 2016.

“No matter who is the county chairman, I will support our party and work every way I can to make it strong,” Brown said.



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