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Packed Gary mayor’s race features 15 candidates

other Gary city office candidates

CLERK, DEMOCRAT:

Clorius L. Lay

Suzette Raggs

CLERK, REPUBLICAN:

No candidates filed

JUDGE, DEMOCRAT:

Darnail Lyles

Deidre L. Monroe

JUDGE, REPUBLICAN:

No candidates filed

COUNCIL:

1ST DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT:

Lita M. (Iatarola) Filippo

Robert Leonard

Ron Matlock

Marilyn D. Krusas

1ST DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN:

Michael Shawn Sanders

2ND DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Bernice B. Clark

Sharetta (Shea) McGee

Deborah L. Morris

Shirley A. Stanford

2ND DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

Willie (Faithful & True) Brown

Silas C. Wilkerson III

3RD DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Mary Brown

Tracy Coleman

3RD DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

4TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Lionel Hampton

Andrew Ledbetter

Carolyn D. Rogers

4TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

5TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Labrenda A. King-Smith

Kimberly K. (Kim) Robinson

Hamblin Ward Jr.

5TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

6TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Ronier L. Scott

Anthony L. Titus

Jeff R. Wilson

Stanley A. Fields

6TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

AT-LARGE, DEMOCRAT

Kyle W. Allen Sr.

Hector C. Alvarado

Ronald G. (Ron) Brewer

Robert L. Campbell

Andre D. Cheairs

Jim Nowacki

Roy Pratt

Tony Walker

Alex Wheeler Jr.

Mary L. Mulligan

Jerry Wilson

AT-LARGE, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



GARY — Thirteen Democrats and one Republican will try to win the mayor’s office away from Rudy Clay this year, and some say the political tricks have already begun.

A few candidates say others aren’t serious about running and entered the race to split votes. A county official said others’ eligibility to run could be vulnerable to a voter’s challenge.

Clay is expected to face his strongest opposition from Karen Freeman-Wilson, a former Indiana attorney general, and Ragen Hatcher, an at-large City Council member and daughter of former Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher.

But the 11 additional Democratic candidates say they shouldn’t be counted out. Gary voters, they say, are tired of the political establishment. The other candidates are: 

Larry Evans

Harold Foster

Heather L. Hensley

Latanza Shanelle Johnson

Jack Lieske

Robert L. Lewis

Lester L. (Chip) Lowe Jr.

Saba S. Mohammed

Richard L. Nash

Derric (NuGary) Price

Jeffery L. Tatum

Charles R. Smith Jr. is the lone candidate on the Republican primary ballot.

Lieske and Price could have eligibility problems. Indiana law requires candidates for local office to be registered to vote in the district they’re running in by candidacy deadline, which was noon Friday.

Sally La Sota, director of Lake County’s board of elections, said a voter confirmation card sent to Lieske’s address in the 500 block of Carolina Street was returned undeliverable Wednesday, the day after he filed his candidacy papers.

La Sota said she canceled Lieske’s voter registration. “They can challenge him off the ballot,” La Sota said.

Lieske has had chronic problems filing as a Lake County voter since he said he’d run for mayor. Last month he said he wouldn’t go through with his mayoral campaign after a former staff member said he wasn’t a Gary resident. On Friday, he said the post office made the mistake.

“I’m still on the ballot and we will resolve this,” Lieske said.

La Sota said she would activate his voter registration if she received an official letter from the post office saying his card should have been delivered. She also said that could void a challenge.

Meanwhile, Lake County records say Price registered to vote Wednesday, the same day he filed to run. La Sota said that means the post office didn’t have a chance to deliver his card.

“You have to have your acknowledgement card,” La Sota said. “That’s when you become the voter.”

Brad King, co-director of the election division of the Indiana Secretary of State’s office, said a person is not registered to vote under state law until a seven-day period has expired after the mailing of the confirmation card. “If the card does not come back during that period, the voter is assumed to be registered at the end of that seven days,” King said.

Price couldn’t be reached for comment about his registration.

All other candidates were listed as active Gary voters Friday except Hensley. Hensley was registered but inactive. Staff in the voter registration office said she was eligible to run, though, because she was eligible to vote.

La Sota said her office can’t refuse an application for candidacy. However, voters may challenge candidates running in their political districts. They must file their challenges with the county election board by noon Feb. 25.

The board will hear challenges March 7 and 8, she said, and it must make its decisions by noon March 10. “Hopefully we won’t have a lot of them,” La Sota said.

The size of Gary’s mayoral ballot has some candidates questioning others’ sincerity, though.

“They know they don’t have a chance,” Lieske said.

Tatum, a Gary police officer, said he believes some candidates got in this year’s race to steer votes away from others. But he also said people are tired of the city’s administration. “The city’s in dire need of a change,” Tatum said.

Freeman-Wilson, in an interview with the Post-Tribune, pointed out one candidate — Lewis — has the same name of a well-known attorney. That attorney released a statement saying he is not a candidate for Gary mayor. Candidate Lewis couldn’t be reached this week to talk about his campaign.

“There ought to be a way of determining whether a person is sincere in their candidacy,” Freeman-Wilson said. “I think there is a lot of trickery involved.”

Foster, a teacher at West Side High School, said he’s touched all facets of Gary’s community. He said people have come to know him through other forms of public service. For example, he’s a former member of the board of the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

“We’re in this race to win and I’m only going to do this one time,” Foster said. “If the people of Gary want to bless me to be their mayor, then you know, we’re going to introduce ourselves. We’ll see what happens. But I am not trying to get my name out for the next run. This is it.”

Mohammed, a real estate agent in Crown Point who said she lives and grew up in Glen Park, said she’s been an advocate for senior citizens in the city. She said she’s more popular than the political establishment believes.

“I don’t need the backing of people in high places,” Mohammed said. “I need the backing of the people.”

Nash said it’s encouraging to see so many people who care enough about Gary to run. “Based on the conditions of Gary, Indiana, I’m surprised my grandmother isn’t running,” Nash said.

But he also called himself an “odds-buster,” and he said Gary residents are tired of old-time politics.

Robert Buggs, who earlier filed his candidacy but withdrew from the race this week, said in a statement some candidates are trying to distort the election process.

“It would be a disservice to those who endorsed and supported me to engage in a premeditated flawed election process,” Buggs said.

OTHER GARY CITY OFFICES:

CLERK, DEMOCRAT:

Clorius L. Lay

Suzette Raggs

CLERK, REPUBLICAN:

No candidates filed

JUDGE, DEMOCRAT:

Darnail Lyles

Deidre L. Monroe

JUDGE, REPUBLICAN:

No candidates filed

COUNCIL:

1ST DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT:

Lita M. (Iatarola) Filippo

Robert Leonard

Ron Matlock

Marilyn D. Krusas

1ST DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN:

Michael Shawn Sanders

2ND DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Bernice B. Clark

Sharetta (Shea) McGee

Deborah L. Morris

Shirley A. Stanford

2ND DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

Willie (Faithful & True) Brown

Silas C. Wilkerson III

3RD DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Mary Brown

Tracy Coleman

3RD DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

4TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Lionel Hampton

Andrew Ledbetter

Carolyn D. Rogers

4TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

5TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Labrenda A. King-Smith

Kimberly K. (Kim) Robinson

Hamblin Ward Jr.

5TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

6TH DISTRICT, DEMOCRAT

Ronier L. Scott

Anthony L. Titus

Jeff R. Wilson

Stanley A. Fields

6TH DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed

AT-LARGE, DEMOCRAT

Kyle W. Allen Sr.

Hector C. Alvarado

Ronald G. (Ron) Brewer

Robert L. Campbell

Andre D. Cheairs

Jim Nowacki

Roy Pratt

Tony Walker

Alex Wheeler Jr.

Mary L. Mulligan

Jerry Wilson

AT-LARGE, REPUBLICAN

No candidates filed



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