Until November 2004, Porter County was considered a Republican stronghold, at least when it came to county officeholders. That changed when in the November county elections the balance of powers shifted, giving Democrats more seats in county government as 2005 arrived.
In the County Council race that year, Democrats edged Republicans, winning four of the seven seats on the council. In the commissioners race, a win by Democrat Carol Knoblock, a former County Council member, shifted the balance of power on the three-person board to the Democrats.
By the end of the decade, Democrats increased their presence in county government by holding all but one seat on the council and commission.
What will the next decade hold for Porter County?
- How will Republicans deal with a surge in genuine conservatism in the county, a surge that has caused some Republican leaders to look like tax and spenders.
- How will Democrats deal with a surge in fiscal conservatism in their own elected ranks? When the unions called for a vote for another regional organization, they couldn't even deliver a meager 25% vote in favor ... and elected Democrats for the most part stood against any new regional taxing authority.
- Is there ever going to be such a thing as a third party? Tea Party, Libertarian, Socialist, Green? We hear sometimes of third party statewide candidates, but seldom of any stepping up locally to run a legitimate campaign.
- What will be the long term impact of problems in tax collections, the former Porter Hospital moving out of Valparaiso, anti-growth regulations in construction, the circuit breaker, proposals for elected official consolidations? Thoughts or predictions?