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Ron Brewer fills vacancy on Lake County Council

RON BREWER (far right) is pictured with his family after winning the Democratic Precinct Caucus for the 2nd District Seat on the Lake County Council. From l-r: daughter, Alexis; wife, Nicole; and son, Brandon

Democrats make endorsements for May Primary and take potshots at Republicans

Saturday, March 9, 2024, was a busy day for Lake County Democrats. Precinct committeepersons met at the Calumet Township Multi-Purpose Center to fill a vacancy in Lake County government and to kick off the 2024 election season with endorsements for county, state and federal candidates in the May Primary races.

First up for the precinct captains was the Lake County Council’s 2nd District vacancy. Five candidates vied for the office left vacant with the sudden passing of Atty. Clorius Lay on February 12th.

Lake County’s 2nd District covers parts of Gary, Griffith, Highland, and Calumet Township. Toya Smith, from Highland faced four candidates from Gary – Ron Brewer, Norman Hairston, Carol Ann Seaton, and Carl Weatherspoon.

Brewer, a Gary at-large city councilman, won the contest on the second ballot. With the win, Brewer is ending 12 years on the city council. He had filed to run in the Indiana State Senate District 3 race, but withdrew when the Lake County council seat became vacant.

If Brewer had remained in the senate race, he would have faced his fellow city council member Mark Spencer and Dave Vinzant from Hobart, the current District 3 Senator in the May Primary.

Saturday was the 3rd caucus of Democratic precinct committeemen this year to fill vacancies. They caucused in January when District 3 State Senator Eddie Melton resigned the office to become Gary’s mayor. In February, they caucused to fill the vacancy in the Calumet Township Assessor’s Office – that position left vacant by the sudden passing of Cozey Weatherspoon in January.

Gary’s Democrats will caucus again next month to fill the at-large city council seat left vacant by Brewer’s move to the county office.

Gary’s precinct captains next heard candidates seeking endorsements in the May Primary. While all candidates emphasized their abilities to serve and urged the captains to get voters to the polls, some also took potshots at Republicans.

Marc Carmichael, from Muncie and a candidate in the U.S Senate race called his Republican opponent “a Trumper, an election denier, a climate denier, and a racist.”

Frank Mrvan, Jr., seeking to return to the U.S. House said, “Republicans don’t care about you. They only care about the wealthy and the one percent.”

Gary Democratic Precinct Organization endorsements went to Valerie McCray for the U.S. Senate, Frank Mrvan, Jr. for U.S. House District 1, Mark Spencer for Indiana Senate District 3, Earl Harris, Jr. for Indiana House District 2, Ragen Hatcher for Indiana House District 3, Vernon Smith for Indiana House District 14, David Pastrick for Lake County Coroner, Gina Pimentel for Lake County Recorder, and Bill Emerson, Jr. for Lake County Surveyor.

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