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Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney says she won't seek reelection


A longtime Porter County commissioner says she won't be seeking reelection.

Laura Blaney told the rest of the commissioners Tuesday that she wouldn't run again, when candidate filing opened Wednesday. "The advice I received as I was deciding whether or not to run tomorrow from one of the people I respect most in government was to ask myself if I could still make a difference here, and if not, where? Well, 'where' is to be determined, but it's time," Blaney said.

Among her accomplishments during her time in office, Blaney highlighted the establishment of the county's foundation, the construction of a new animal shelter and the creation of storm water and human resources departments. "We've managed growth and made some massive infrastructure and capital improvements, while enjoying the lowest income tax rate in the state," Blaney added.

Blaney is currently the only Democrat on the board of commissioners, and she's often been at odds with the other members over the Memorial Opera House renovation, health department appointments and other issues.

Still, board president Jim Biggs said he's always respected her, adding that her skills will be hard to replace. "You've never lied to me, at least that I'm aware of," Biggs told Blaney. "I haven't always agreed with you. You haven't always agreed with me, but I know that you had the county's best interests at heart."

Biggs and others criticized Blaney last year over her role in the development of the county's former solar ordinance — and not including him in the discussions.

Blaney said it was a tough and painful decision not to run again, but she hopes to make her last year in office a good one.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.