Indiana Election Day: Gary, East Chicago, Valparaiso mayoral races wrap up

ByMichelle Gallardo and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Indiana residents vote in mayoral elections
Voters in northwest Indiana headed to the polls to vote in several mayoral elections.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- In northwest Indiana, several municipalities are electing a mayor on Tuesday.

In Gary, northwest Indiana's second-largest city, Democrat Eddie Melton is headed to an easy win over Republican Andrew Delano.

"The next mayor, he needs to help our children. Well, my children's grown. They left here, because they couldn't stay. There's nothing here for them. And, the older people have nothing to do, no place to go. We're not safe in our own home," said Gary voter Clare Dorsey.

Speaking to ABC7 from his campaign office on Tuesday, Melton, who beat incumbent Mayor Jerome Prince in the primaries, acknowledged that in Gary, it's all about addressing what other communities take for granted.

"Stabilizing the population means giving them the services that they need that they see in other communities. Street lights are functioning and working. They have safe streets with public safety and fire that's providing timely services, making sure our infrastructure is sound," Melton said.

The next mayor faces a big uphill battle. A shadow of its former self, Gary's population has been declining for decades as the population looks elsewhere for economic opportunities. Tellingly, Gary hasn't reelected a mayor in decades.

"Gary is one of those cities that felt like the nation turned its back on us. And, you look at the population we've lost, the industry that we've lost," Melton said. "Not many communities across the nation that have experienced what we have."

In East Chicago, another easy win is expected for three-time incumbent Democratic Mayor Anthony Copeland over Republican Arthur Santos Senior.

And, in Crown Point, Democrat Pete Land has a big lead over Republican Shirlene Olson.

In Valparaiso, however, the race is a bit closer. Republican Jon Costas holds a lead over Democrat Hannah Trueblood, the first woman to ever run for mayor in the city.

"I like having choices. And, I like having someone who can represent some of my issues. But either way, male or female, I always try to vote for whomever I think can service in the best way," said Valparaiso voter Melissa Schutkovske.

For a list of polling locations in Lake County, Indiana, visit

For more information on the elections in Indiana, visit