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Race is on for Boy’s MC Council seat

November 26, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY — Democrats will caucus next month to fill the remainder of the Michigan City Common Council term of Pat Boy, who won the race for state representative, and two familiar names have filed to fill the spot.

The caucus to replace Boy, who resigned her council seat, will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Michigan City Democratic Headquarters at 1810 U.S. 20, according to La Porte County Democratic Chairman Jim Kimmel.

Filing their candidacy papers on Monday were Beth Pishkur, currently serving out a term on the Michigan City Area Schools Board, a seat for which she did not seek re-election; and Sean Fitzpatrick, deputy Porter County coroner, who has run unsuccessfully for coroner and city council in the past.

“I have submitted the proper paperwork to be a candidate in the Democratic Caucus for City Council,” Pishkur said. “I was born and raised in the 4th Ward and it is where I raised my family and continue to live. I also plan on filing to run a campaign to be elected as the 4th Ward Councilwoman in the Democratic Primary on May 7, 2019.”

Fitzpatrick, a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator, who lives with his wife and children in Coolspring Township, said the 4th Ward needs somebody who has the ability to make things happen.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done – like streetlights and sidewalks along a lot of blocks in our area of the city. I know that Pat Boy was integral to a lot of things that were going on in the city, and strong leadership skills will be necessary to finish the job.”

He said he has been a “strong Democrat” who has “served and volunteered with a lot of organizations and boards in the city,” and thinks he is ready to serve in a more important post, one he would also run for in the spring.

“My intent, as far as the position goes, would be to run in the primary,” Fitzpatrick said.

Boy was completing her fourth term on the council, and any Democrat who resides in the ward can apply for the seat, Kimmel said. The term expires next year and will be filled in the 2019 municipal election.

“I’ll miss the city council,” Boy said Monday, “but I’m really looking forward to my new position. Leaving the council wasn’t as hard as I expected, but then, I wasn’t resigning AT a council meeting.”

Any words of advice for her successor?

“Listen before speaking. Don’t assume you know everything,” Boy said. “Rely on current members, council attorney, city clerk, city attorney. They are valuable sources of information.”

Boy said she thinks Pishkur would be a good choice.

“She’s lived in the 4th ward for a long time, and she’s always been involved in political matters,” said Boy, adding she will attend next month’s caucus if her schedule permits.

“Beth has previous experience as a school board member. She’s in it for the right reasons and wants to run for the seat again next year. I think she’d do a great job as a council member.”

Pishkur was also full of praise for the new state rep.

“Pat Boy has been my friend for over 24 years. She leaves very big shoes to fill. Her quiet spirit and tenacity to get things done is what has won her a seat as the 9th District State Representative.”

Mayor Ron Meer complimented Boy on her ability to get things done.

“I have worked approximately 16 years with Mrs. Boy and it has always been a great working relationship to get things accomplished in Michigan City,” he said. “One thing that I will always remember about Pat is that she always follows through. She is extremely thorough when completing a project.”

And, the mayor said, she can continue working for the city in the legislature.

“It’s a great perspective to have our state representative having a close working relationship with Michigan City government officials,” he said.

Meer said won’t be endorsing anyone for the seat, but “will let the caucus process determine that.”

The 4th District includes Precincts 12, 13, 14, and 15, encompassing much of the south side of the city.

Anyone interested in the position must submit a CEB-5 form to the Clerk’s Office at the La Porte Courthouse by 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, Kimmel said. The form is available online or at the clerk’s office.

Kimmel said anyone with a Democratic voting history who resides within the district is eligible to apply, and to attend the caucus, though only precinct committee chairs are eligible to vote.

Making their case

BETH PISHKUR:

Lifelong resident of Michigan City

8-year board member Michigan City Area Schools

Past member Michigan City Planning Commission

Past member Michigan City Enrichment Board

Past member Michigan City Commission for Women

Precinct chairperson 4th Ward MC-12

Current vice president Michigan City Women’s Democratic Club (member since 2010)

La Porte County League of Women Voters member since 2010

Mentor in “Hours for Ours Program”

Eucharistic minister at St. Stanislaus Church

SEAN FITZPATRICK:

Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator

Served as a Deputy Coroner for La Porte County and Porter County]

Owns and operates Autopsy and Deathcare Assistance LLC

Member of Family Advocates Board of Directors

Member of Commission of the Social Status of Africian American Males

Former vice chairman of the Michigan City Housing Authority Board

Current treasurer of the La Porte County Central Democratic Committee.

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