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Porter County chairmen work to fill party slates

Updated: July 21, 2014 3:50PM



VALPARAISO — Porter County Republicans don’t need to throw a pizza party to round out the Nov. 4 election ballot.

“We actually have people calling and openly volunteering,” party chairman Michael Simpson said, adding that he has been interviewing many people regarding open spots on the ballot. “It’s a little harder over there in Lake County (to find good GOP candidates).”

Simpson, who is authorized by the party to fill open spots, is focusing on finding someone to run against Democrat Jeremy Rivas for the 2nd District seat on the Porter County Council as well as a GOP candidate for Union Township trustee. He said there may be an additional township trustee spots to fill as well.

Simpson expects to have a full slate by July 1; the filing deadline is July 3.

Jeffrey Chidester, chairman of the county’s Democratic Party, said he has filled two spots — Stacey Whitten announced on Friday she will run for county prosecutor against incumbent Brian Gensel, and Lori Wilkie will seek a seat on the Portage Township Board after Andy Maletta stepped down to join the Portage school board.

A few people have approached him about running in township races, but while they have “pretty good qualifications,” Chidester said, he’s cautious about the appointment process and is weighing the party’s options to see what spots should be filled. He expects to finish filling openings for township races by June 30.

“There’s nothing that says I have to fill every spot,” he said, adding that he recognizes that some incumbents are good at their jobs.



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