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Newly drawn commissioner district has its first candidate

Jason Piontek
Jason Piontek

Next year’s election for a newly created St. Joseph County commissioner seat has its first candidate.

Democrat Jason Piontek, a 49-year-old electrician and married father of six, today announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat now held by Republican Derek Dieter. Republicans, since they control the county council and commissioners, have redrawn district boundary lines so that the first and third districts lean more Republican, ensuring they’ll keep their majority on the three-member board. They made this district encompass the largely Democratic city of South Bend.

Piontek says he expects other Democrats to run, meaning the May 7 Primary Election could serve as the de facto General Election.

Piontek has never run for public office. He serves as assistant business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 153.

“Obviously South Bend and St. Joe County are experiencing tremendous growth right now and there’s going to be a lot of job opportunities,” Piontek said. “I think my experience with the labor organization can help address employment. Obviously with employment and good jobs, it makes it a little bit easier to tackle issues like mental health and affordable housing.”

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).