Stop Stabosz’s apparent efforts in defeat

(La Porte, IN) – The primary election in LaPorte County appeared to be primarily about stopping Tim Stabosz in his bid to secure one of the elected seats on the executive branch of county government.

Ahead of Tuesday’s election, some officials purchased blocks of air time on local radio stations to denounce Stabosz, a central figure as LaPorte County auditor in the ongoing heated conflict within state government. county.

An anonymous five-page flyer describing Stabosz as incompetent, a source of chaos and hatred as well as a kingmaker for most local Republicans also began appearing in mailboxes and on social media.

“Stop the madness” and “It’s time to clean up the toxic environment” are among the writings on the flyer’s front page.

Steve Holfield, a Mill Creek farmer, defeated Stabosz by more than 500 votes to win the Republican Party nomination for the District 2 seat on the three-member LaPorte County Commission.

Stabosz acknowledged that there appeared to have been an all-out blitz by his detractors to stop him, but he felt that the main reason for his loss was Democrats switching “en masse” to vote Republican, but not against him for the most part.

“This is in no way a rejection of Tim Stabosz,” he said.

LaPorte County Republican Party Chairman Allen Stevens said at least 700 Republican ballots were removed by people who voted Democratic in the 2022 primaries.

Stevens said it was difficult to say what the motive was for such crossover, but that it was often because Democrats wanted weaker Republican opponents in the November general election.

Stabosz said he thought the Democrats’ shift had more to do with a lack of interest from the party that only had one contested county government race and a desire to help the state senator Mike Bohacek of Michiana Shores.

Bohacek, a former Democrat, won the party’s nomination for a third term in the state Senate District 8 race.

Stabosz said he believed another factor contributing to his defeat was “false and malicious attacks by his political enemies aimed at distorting my record and the truth.”

All but one of the candidates Stabosz supported in the primary also lost, including his chief deputy auditor Rhonda Graves. Graves was defeated by LaPorte County Councilman Mike Rosenbaum in the Republican race for auditor by 11 percentage points.

Stabosz said he is now focused on the remainder of his term as LaPorte County auditor, which expires Jan. 1, and supporting Holifield in the upcoming campaign.

Holifield will face retired LaPorte County police officer Mike Kellems, who ran unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination.

“We both agreed that we would be courteous and kind to each other and go by the facts,” he said.

The extreme political struggles began after Stabosz and Commissioner Joe Haney took office almost three and a half years ago.

Most of their allegations involved continuing allegations of political corruption and a county government run by a good old boys’ club, which led to heated exchanges, mostly at commission meetings.

LaPorte Mayor Tom Dermody, who has often called for an end to political fighting, said he believes most voters, tired of the negativity, have voiced their opinions at the polls.

“It’s great to see individuals who just want to get things done winning.” Enough bullshit. I think it’s a good day for good government,” he said.