Local News

Republicans to Cross Over at Ballot Box

(La Porte County, IN) - It appears some Republicans are rallying behind Democrat La Porte County Prosecutor John Lake in his bid for reelection.


“Republicans for Lake” is a political action committee formed by La Porte resident Rick Kentaft. Kentaft said Lake is most qualified for the job and his opponent, Republican Sean Fagan, lacks experience handling criminal cases. He also disagreed with Fagan’s belief that a prosecutor needs to be out fighting crime.


“A prosecutor’s job is to prosecute crimes. It’s not the prosecutor’s job to be out on the street as a law enforcement officer,” Kentaft said.

Fagan graduated from law school at Valparaiso University in 2015 and has been a Child Protective Services attorney since 2019.


Kentaft said his decision has nothing to do with any break occurring within the Republican Party, and he hasn’t formed a PAC in support of other Democratic Party candidates.


“This is strictly standing behind John Lake, who’s the best man for the job,” Kentaft said.

La Porte County Republican Party Chairman Allen Stevens accused Lake of being involved in forming the PAC out of concern that he might be trailing in the polls.


Stevens also said most of the “Republicans for Lake” signs are posted in the yards and properties of Democrats. He believes enthusiasm within the party is high for all of the candidates. 


“Don’t read too much into it. This is just a sideshow being put on by the prosecutor,” Stevens said.  

Stevens recently filed a complaint that Lake’s wife, Mary, violated election law by participating in the PAC and her husband’s campaign. The violation was later corrected by Mrs. Lake being removed from the PAC, but the La Porte County Election Board could still level a fine.


Some Republicans have criticized Kentaft for voting in the past as a Democrat. However, Kentaft said switching parties is not unusual, and he became a Republican about eight years ago. Kentaft said switching parties had been done by many people locally over the years and at the state and national levels.


“I think one of the ones who switched parties back in the day was Ronald Reagan. At one time, he was a Democrat and became elected as a Republican,” Kentaft said.

Reagan was a Democrat until becoming a Republican in 1962.

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