Mark Spencer on first day of filing for 2024 Primary Elections

Mark Spencer bulldozes State Senate 3 race

Contributed By: The 411 News

Only 41,510 of Lake County's registered 362,561 voters cared to cast a ballot in Primary Elections

The second time around worked like magic for Gary city councilman at-large Mark Spencer, winner in the Democratic Primary State Senate 3 contest. Spencer won big over Hobart’s David Vinzant with 65% of the vote totals —6,417 to 3,387 – in that race reported by the Lake County Board of Election & Registration just before midnight.

The two had faced off in January’s Lake County Democratic Precinct Caucus to fill the vacancy in the Senate seat when then Senator Eddie Melton resigned after winning the Gary mayoral race. Vinzant won by 2 votes. That night, Spencer and supporters responded with "we’ll have to do it in May."

Spencer, the Director of Gary Community School Corporation’s West Side Theater Guild and newcomer to elected office has turned out to be popular with voters. He easily won in the 2023 Democratic Primary race for Gary councilman at-large and won big in the 2023 General Election.

Spencer will face Republican Will Miller in the November 2024 General Election. Miller bested Maya Angelou Brown, his only opponent on the Republican side.

Frank Mrvan, U.S. Representative District 1 was unopposed, winning 21,160 votes. Mrvan will face Randy Niemeyer, 7th District Lake County Councilman in November. Niemeyer won with 15,941 votes over Mark Leyva’s 3,644 and Ben Ruiz’s 1,853.

In the only other state Senate race on the Democratic side in Lake County, incumbent Lonnie Randolph ran unopposed in District 2.

Only 1 of Lake County’s State Representative races was contested. State Representative District 3 incumbent Ragen Hatcher won over Heather McCarthy garnering 56% of the vote, 2,876 to 2,247.

Lake County State Representatives running unopposed were Carolyn Jackson in District 1, Earl Harris, Jr. in District 2, Mike Andrade in District 12, and Vernon Smith in District 14.

Stormy weather may have played a part in Tuesday’s voter turnout of 11.45%, usually higher in a presidential election year. Only 41,510 of Lake County’s 362,561 registered voters submitted absentee ballots, voted early, or showed up on Election Day.

In the Lake County Surveyor race, incumbent Bill Emerson, Jr. bested Reginald Tisdale, 14,747 to 6,968

For Lake County Coroner, incumbent David Pastrick won with 10,168 over Danielle Carter’s 8,651, and Elizabeth Ann-Marie (Beth) Hmurovic’s 3,561.

In the Lake County Commissioner District 3 race, Michael Repay won with 4,670 votes over Alfredo Menchaca’s 1,750, Matthew Celestin’s 469, and Richard Deleon’s 391.

Lake County Recorder Gina Pimental was unopposed.

Story Posted:05/08/2024

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