Three Republicans are vying for the the chance to challenge incumbent 2nd District Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub.
And redrawn district boundaries since the last election — ones that favor the GOP — are giving Republicans hope they'll capture the seat in the November general election.
Meanwhile, four Democrats seek to unseat incumbent Mike Repay in the 3rd District Commissioner primary race.
One of the Republicans running in the 2nd District race, Jerry Tippy, 54, states, "I have more than 30 years of business and project management experience, 10 years as a small business owner in Lake County, along with more than 10 years of municipal government service, including three terms as a Schererville Town Councilman.
"The Lake County economy is slowly transitioning away from heavy industry as the mills slowly downsize. Lake County’s population is decreasing. We need to find new markets that will fuel our economy, bring high-paying jobs and give the next generation a reason to stay in Lake County. I will support incentives that will attract those new businesses and work with business leaders, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and government officials to provide support for this much needed action.
"I will introduce business principles that work in government. During my first term as a councilman, we reduced general fund spending by 20 percent and saved millions on other projects by improving the bidding process. I want to reduce spending in Lake County by implementing similar policies."
Another Republican vying for the nomination to face Scheub in November is Eldon Strong, 62, of Crown Point.
Strong has served on the Lake County Council since 2012 and previously was Center Township trustee and a Crown Point police officer.
He said he will review all vendor and consultant contracts and put them out for annual bidding to find better prices for taxpayers.
"We must stop continuing them with the wave of a pen," Strong said.
He said he would reduce the payroll through attrition and train employees to work in multiple departments and study closing the East Chicago, Gary and Hammond satellite county offices.
"Government is not a business. The basic fundamental of business is to make money," Strong said. "That type of philosophy cannot be applied to government. To me, government should be providing good services and the best price for the taxpayers.
"I believe the experiences I have for the past four years as a county councilman will help me greatly as a commissioner. I applaud transparency and condemn 'smoke and mirrors' government."
A third Republican, Daniel C. Langmesser, 72, of Schererville, is running in his 32nd election since 1976.
"I'm the Republican who runs to make sure we always have somebody on the ballot," Langmesser said. "I'm in favor of eliminating commissioners."
He said he opposes secret bidding to award government work contracts.
"I would have open bidding," Langmesser said. "People could see all the bids so everybody would know what is going on."
In the 3rd Commissioner district, four Democrats are challenging Lake County Commissioner Mike Repay, 40, of Hammond, who is bidding for a second term. He previously served four years on the Lake County Council.
Repay said he has been criticized for refusing to veto a 1.5 percent local income tax two years ago, but he notes the new taxes have shored up county government's finances and provided economic development funds for cities and towns in his district.
Repay, who has a bachelor's degree from Purdue University, said he has a proven record of fiscal responsibility, has worked to reduce government spending and promote local government consolidation to eliminate duplication.
He is the county's representative on the E-911 public safety communications merger and hopes to build a back-up E-911 call center inside unused portions of the county courthouse in East Chicago, negating the cost of acquiring a separate space.
Lake County Councilwoman Christine Cid, of East Chicago, who is serving a fourth term on the council, is challenging Repay for the commissioner's nomination.
Cid said she supports employing and training a sufficient amount of E-911 dispatchers and using the commissioner's office to advocate for federal funding for childhood cancer research.
Cid said she voted against the Lake County income tax in 2013, and she will oppose any future county government borrowing and spending.
"As your commissioner, I will veto any increase. I will continue to vote against new patronage positions and create an attrition program," Cid said.
"I am pro-union and will continue to support union jobs and good wages for economic growth.
"I will work with the Lake County Economic Alliance and the RDA to promote the advantages of doing business in Lake County."
Dan Reed, 61, of Hammond, is making his first run for public office.
He works for a health care transportation company.
"I want more resources directed to our district," he said.
Richard L. Alyea, 44, of Highland, is a former maintenance and equipment employee for an electrical contractor and currently a stay-at-home dad. He said it is his first run for public office.
"I earned a degree from Purdue University Calumet in political science. This race came up, and I'm interested in serving the public," Alyea said.
"On the 911 consolidation, they waited until the last minute and are playing politics with public safety. Schererville and Cedar Lake didn't want to be part of the concerns. Those concerns have proven to be legitimate.
"When Commissioner Repay ran, he believed we could make cuts to avoid an income tax. Right after he was elected, he failed to veto the income tax. He obviously changed his mind. It has has been three years, and I have heard little from county leadership on making those cuts."
David Gonzalez, 34, of Griffith, is a teacher's aide, technology coordinator and coach at Carrie Gosch Elementary School in East Chicago as well as an after-school tutor. He said he has never run for public office before.
"I'm jumping in feet first, and like many others, I was really upset with the county income tax. I believe it is a burden on working families of Lake County who live from paycheck to paycheck," Gonzalez said. "I would love to repeal it or at least reduce it.
"I think I'm a breath of fresh air for Lake County politics. I am the new guy. I think Lake County needs someone new. I don't have a political last name. I'm not from a political family."