Porter County Council newcomer’s tenure threatened | Government and Politics

VALPARAISO – In a tight race for Porter County Council District incumbent Erik Wagner was behind fellow Democrat Becky Mateja Lombardini early in the evening.

Wagner was selected by a Democratic caucus in March to replace the late Robert Poparad, a long-time public servant in Burns Harbor and county government. Wagner’s term ends Dec. 31.

Republican Ronald “Red” Stone was a clear favorite among early voters over opponent Antonio “Tony” Gutierrez in the Republican race for District 1.

Porter County Council President Jeremy Rivas was cruising toward victory against Scott Williams in the County Council District 2 Democratic primary.

Williams serves as vice president of the Portage City Council.







Jeremy Rivas


Doug Ross, The Times


Wagner served on the Porter Town Council from 2016 until this year, when he resigned to join the County Council. He also served on the town’s Plan Commission and Redevelopment Commission for 10 years.

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In 2020, Lombardini ran against incumbent Jim Biggs for the north county seat on the county Board of Commissioners.

Wagner is focused on public safety, infrastructure and protecting the ecosystem, he said.

Stone has been on the Duneland School Board 15 years, helping the district develop one of the best mental health programs in the state, he said. Stone organized a group to discuss mental health in the county, which led to the county spending up to $ 25,000 on a study to determine the county’s mental health needs.

“It’s a road map going forward,” he said.

Rivas has been on the County Council for three terms. This is his third straight year as president. Rivas also sits on the county’s Redevelopment Commission and Stormwater Advisory Board.

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