Laura Shurr-Blaney wins Porter County Commission seat over Mike Heinold
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent November 6, 2012 6:20PM
Laura Shurr Blaney. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:22AM
VALPARAISO — Democrat Laura Shurr Blaney took a clear lead over Republican Mike Heinold in the race for Porter County’s South County Board of Commissioners seat.
Both candidates stressed how best to handle the proceeds from the sale of former county hospital, and job creation.
Blaney, 44, an at-large member of the Porter County Council from Porter Township, also served on the county council in 2005 and 2006. She is a former biology and chemistry instructor who used to own the Kelsey’s steak houses in Valparaiso and Portage with her husband, Ken.
“’I’m looking forward to it,” Blaney said of her upcoming term as a commissioner, adding she is excited to be working with John Evans, R-North, who was unopposed in his reelection bid for a fourth term, and Nancy Adams, R-Center. She will replace Carole Knoblock, who did not seek another term.
Blaney said she hopes the bipartisan commissioners can improve their relationship with the county council. “I think they need to figure out how to cooperate better. Having been on both sides, I hope to bridge the gap,” she said.
Heinold, 45, of Morgan Township, was making his first run for office. He owns an information technology company; he and his family formerly owned Heinold Feeds. His father is former State Sen. Vic Heinold. He was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in Valparaiso a week and a half ago.
The president of the commissioners makes $39,491; the other two draw $35,411. They also have the option of taking health benefits worth $17,290.