After 5 rounds of voting, GOP caucus elects Mark Krentz as LaPorte’s new mayor

Mark Krentz is sworn in as mayor by LaPorte Clerk-Treasurer Teresa Ludlow after the caucus election.

Krentz addresses the crowd moments after he was named as mayor.

WNLP story and photos by Beth Boardman

It took five rounds of voting by a caucus of 20 GOP precinct committeepeople, but in the end Mark Krentz became LaPorte’s new mayor Friday evening, Aug. 11, 2017.

On her last day as mayor, Blair Milo casts a ballot to elect her successor. Milo voted as a GOP precinct committee member.

The caucus eliminated seven other candidates ballot by ballot until Krentz emerged as the victor.

“I’m a LaPortean through and through,” Krentz told the crowd before the voting began. “I will provide inspirational, communicative, conclusive leadership.” 

Krentz will finish the two remaining years left in former LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo’s 2nd term. Milo was one of the precinct committeepeople who voted Krentz in at the LaPorte County Complex during the caucus. She also gave the opening prayer.

Besides Krentz, candidates who had filed to finish Milo’s term were Leigh Morris, Tim Stabosz, Spencer England, Roger Galloway, Geoff Sellers, Paul Boardman, and Thomas Obertein. 

Milo, who served one full four-year term as mayor as well as half of her second term, resigned to assume the new post of secretary of career connections and talent in Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Cabinet. Her final day as mayor was Friday.

Krentz, a LaPorte native and longtime local business owner of the former Thanhardt-Burger art company, has most recently served as talent attraction coordinator of the

Krentz hugs LaPorte County Clerk Kathy Chroback, who attended the caucus in her official capacity to oversee signing of the documents and apply the county seal. While Chroback is a Democrat, she chose Republican Krentz to serve on the city Board of Works when she was LaPorte mayor.

Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation. He has also been serving on the LaPorte Board of Public Works and Safety during Milo’s administration. He’s been involved in many community activities and served on various local boards over the years, including the hospital board. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University and completed the Executive Management Certificate Program at the University of Notre Dame. At the chamber, Krentz has focused his effort on the Business Retention and Expansion Program and the Business and Education Partnership.

Mark’s father, the late Carl Krentz, served as LaPorte mayor from 1996-2000.

Caucus votes

The atmosphere was upbeat and orderly at the caucus, which drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people. Prior to the caucus votes, each candidate gave brief remarks. One of the most memorable moments was provided by candidate Obertein’s 7-year-old son, who introduced his father to the crowd, enthusiastically declaring “My dad is the best!”

It’s official.

A simple majority was needed to choose a new mayor and that took a while. In each vote, the candidate who received the fewest votes was eliminated and then another vote took place.

Vote 1: On their first ballots, the 20 committeepeople voted as follows: Krentz 7 votes, Galloway 5 votes, Stabosz 4 votes, Morris 2 votes, Boardman 1 vote, Sellers 1 vote, England 0 votes, Obertein 0 votes. England and Obertein were thus eliminated.

Vote 2: In the second ballot casting, it was Krentz 9, Galloway 6, Sellers 2, Stabosz 2, Morris 1, Boardman 0. Boardman eliminated. 

Vote 3:  Krentz 10, Galloway 5, Morris 3, Sellers 1, Stabosz 1. Sellers and Stabosz eliminated.

Vote 4: Krentz 10, Galloway 8, Morris 2. Morris eliminated.

Vote 5: Krentz 12, Galloway 7. Krentz elected.  

The crowd awaits the final vote.

LaPorte County GOP Chairman Nick Barbknecht watches Krentz sign the official papers.

6 Responses to “After 5 rounds of voting, GOP caucus elects Mark Krentz as LaPorte’s new mayor”

  1. Tom Osborn

    Aug 11. 2017

    Congratulations Mark. Glad to see someone, who I know cares about what happens to this town, has been given the chance to run it.

    Reply to this comment
  2. crissy

    Aug 11. 2017

    I am so totally excited for our new mayor. Mark you are a great guy who will lead us in the right direction. So so happy for you!!!!!! Welcome our new mayor “Mark Krentz “

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jeff Be

    Aug 12. 2017

    Congratulations Mark & Laura! LaPorte will be well served
    by your talent and leadership.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Don and Mary

    Aug 12. 2017

    Congratulations Mark! So happy for you and Laura! This is a perfect fit for you!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Terry Scherer

    Aug 14. 2017

    Congratulations to Mark and Laura! I was fortunate enough to serve on the city council when Carl was the Mayor. He was a bridge builder and now the city is fortunate again to have his son Mark. Looking forward to the bridges which Mark will build! May our good Lord bless you and your work!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Keven Putnam a.k.a. mr.pottawattamie park

    Aug 14. 2017

    Great job!!!!

    Reply to this comment

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