Candidate filing closes in Lake County

Hammond City Councilman Barry Tyler, D-3, filed his intention to run for state delegate just in the nick of time as election board workers scrambled to stamp the paperwork before the clock turned to 12:01 p.m.

He was the last person to file Friday before the noon deadline after he squeaked through just before the official time-stamp clock rolled over. While there was a flurry of activity leading up to the deadline, no potential candidates missed their opportunity by coming in too late.

Tyler said he decided to run for delegate after learning more about the process. He successfully ran for a second term on the council in November.

“I want to be even more engaged,” Tyler said of his bid to be a state delegate.

Former Lake County Councilman Albert “Al” Menchaca was the last big name to file for a major county office this cycle. Menchaca joins two other challengers, Matthew Celestin and Richard A. De Leon, in an effort to unseat incumbent Commissioner Michael Repay, D-Hammond. Repay is seeking his fourth term representing the county’s third district. Menchaca was appointed to the county council by caucus in May 2022. He lost the election for the seat to Clorius Lay, who was a Gary City Councilman at the time.

“I was waiting to see if some big names would get in there,” Menchaca said of his last-minute filing. He said Repay does not work with the council or other elected officials, something he experienced first-hand as during his term on the county council.

“I just can’t sit back. We need a change there,” Menchaca said.

Repay said he has never run unopposed and did not expect to be unopposed this election cycle.

“It’s a free country. People are allowed to challenge. I’m going to put it to the people as vigorously as possible and allow them to decide whether they are appreciative of the work that I have done so far or whether it’s time for change,” Repay said.

He said the race for the Third District will be a real campaign this year with four people running for the Democratic nomination and two for the Republican nomination — Humberto Prado and Kimberly Poland.

Republican Incumbent Commissioner Jerry Tippy, Schererville, is running unopposed for his party’s nomination for the Second District seat. No Democratic candidates are running for the party’s nomination, but could be slated on the ballot after the primary.

Politicos lined the hallway outside the Lake County Board of Elections office inside the Lake County Government Center, ticking off the time until noon. Some, like Recorder Gina Pimentel, who was first in line to file for her bid for reelection Jan. 10, wanted to see if any other candidates sought to challenge her for the seat.

Pimentel is being challenged by Joy Holliday, who served as chief of staff under former Gary Mayor Jerome Prince. Incumbent Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr., also faces a challenge in the Democratic primary. Emerson is being challenged by Reginald Tisdale. There are no Republicans running for their party’s nomination for either seat.

In other county races this cycle, two candidates are seeking to challenge incumbent David Pastrick for the coroner’s office: Democrats Michael Myers and Elizabeth “Beth” Ann-Marie DeLeon. Republican Andrew Delano will be running unopposed for his party’s nomination for a spot in the ballot.

The full slate of candidates who have filed to run in the county’s May primary:

Recorder: Regina (Gina) Pimentel, Democrat; Joy Holliday, Democrat

Coroner: David J. Pastrick, Democrat; Danielle E. Carter, Democrat; Elizabeth (Beth) Ann-Marie Hmurovic, Democrat; Michael Myers, Democrat; and Andrew Delano, Republican

Surveyor: Bill Emerson Jr., Democrat; Reginald Tisdale, Democrat


District 2: Jerry Tippy, Republican;

District 3: Michael Repay, Democrat; Matthew J. Celestin, Democrat; Richard A. DeLeon, Democrat; Albert “Al” Menchaca, Democrat; Humberto Prado, Republican; and Kimberly Poland, Republican

Federal and state offices

U.S. Representative, First District: Frank J. Mrvan, Democrat; Mark Leyva, Republican; Randy Niemeyer, Republican; and Ben Ruiz, Republican.

State Senate

District 2: Lonnie M. Randolph, Democrat

District 3: Ronald (Ron) G. Brewer Sr., Democrat; Mark Spencer, Democrat; David Vinzant, Democrat; Maya Angelou Brown, Republican; and Will Miller, Republican.

District 5: Ed Charbonneau, Republican; and Leslie Nuss, Democrat

State Representative

District 1: Carolyn B. Jackson, Democrat

District 2: Earl Harris Jr., Democrat

District 3: Ragen Hatcher, Democrat; and Heather McCarthy, Democrat

District 4: Ed Soliday, Republican; and Erika Robinson-Watkins, Democrat

District 10: Charles (Chuck) Moseley, Democrat; Jeff Larson, Republican; and Manuel Maldonado, Republican

District 11: Michael J. Aylesworth, Republican

District 12: Mike Andrade, Democrat

District 14: Vernon G, Smith, Democrat; and Ivan Ursery II, Republican

District 15: Hal Slager, Republican

District 19: Julie Olthoff, Republican