Van Til retains office despite Krieg volleys
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent November 6, 2012 9:48PM
Lake County surveyor George Van Til (right) listens to updates with supporter Karen Steininger and chief deputy Lake County surveyor Gregory Sanchez as election results come in at Houlihan's in Schererville, Ind. Tuesday November 6, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:21AM
Incumbent George Van Til managed to hold on to the surveyor’s position despite an acrimonious campaign with Republican challenger Eric Krieg and an FBI investigation of his office.
In what was likely the most bitter of political battles in Lake County this election, Van Til and Krieg traded barbs about qualifications, commitment and improprieties on a near-daily basis.
Van Til, a Democrat, grabbed an early lead and held on to it throughout the night.
“I am so very grateful for these opportunities to me for public service to do what I love and can do well, to make a real and positive difference for 40 years in this county that has been the Van Til family home for 110 years,” Van Til said.
The surveyor said this race was the most negative he has been a part of throughout his political career.
“Irresponsibility and lack of civility or truthfulness has been more evident this year, more than ever before, and it is sad and a disservice to the people we try to serve,” he said.
The incumbent surveyor said this will be his last term in office as he looks to leave behind a legacy of public service to the community.
“I will do my best, for as long as I can, to continue to serve the people that have been so good to me for so long and the county I care about so much,” Van Til said.
Krieg said the outcome was disappointing but he did do better than most Republicans running in Lake County.
“We did pretty well for a Republican,” Krieg said.
Krieg said anger among voters about statements made by Republican Richard Mourdock and lack of support from union labor, which he felt he had more of going into the campaign, hurt his chance.
While he said he was disappointed by the outcome, he does not plan to stop his investigations into how work is being conducted through the Surveyor’s Office.
“This is not over with George Van Til. The FBI is still out there … there is more to this. I will be shifting from mere election to what’s it going to take to really clean up the Surveyor’s Office,” Krieg said.