Incumbent Mayor Chambers Defeated in Primary


It took more forty minutes after polls closed for the ballots to arrive at the Starke County Courthouse on Tuesday evening.

The Knox Primary Municipal Election was taking place and saw a few races contested, largely among Democratic candidates. Eligible voters had ample opportunity to cast an early or absentee ballot leading up to the Primary Municipal Election, but the city’s four precincts all voted at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on Tuesday.

Sticking out among the races on Tuesday was the contest for the Mayor of the City of Knox. Incumbent Mayor Rick Chambers was being challenged by former Mayor Dennis Estok in a rematch of a 2007 primary that was seen as so contentious, absentee ballots were questioned in Starke County Circuit Court.

According to the Starke County Clerk’s office, Estok will move onto November’s General Election after receiving 61-percent of the vote. Chambers received 38-percent.

Estok does not have an opponent yet, but that could change if the Starke County Republican Party opts to field a candidate.

In the Knox City Council’s At-Large seat, Bertha Blue – who had political yard signs allegedly stolen earlier this year according to Knox City Police reports – defeated Dorine Godinez 70-percent to 29-percent.

There were two other contested races among Democratic opponents. The Knox City Council’s District 2 seat saw Ron Parker receive more votes than Priscilla Upp 54-percent to 45-percent. He is currently unopposed in the General Election.

In District 4, Tim Manns defeated incumbent Greg Matt 58-percent to 41-percent. He will take on Republican Tony Radkiewicz, Sr. in the fall.

According to the Election Summary Report, a total of 991 ballots were cast in Starke County, totaling just over a 33-percent turnout.

Republican candidates were not contested during the primary. The GOP has until July 6th to allow candidates to enter the race.

Winners in the Primary Municipal Election will now move onto the General Election in November.