La PORTE — In a landslide victory, Republican candidate Tom Dermody has been elected to be the next mayor for the City of La Porte.
The announcement reached Dermody and dozens of his supporters at the Silver Palace in La Porte on Tuesday night.
The mayor-elect earned 2,161 votes or 81.55 percent of total votes cast. His opponent, Democrat Matt Wilhelm, earned 489 votes or 18.45 percent of total votes cast.
“I feel great,” said Dermody following the announcement. “I keep thinking about all of the door-to-door opportunities that we’ve been doing over the last 12 months. It was a lot of hard work.”
Dermody is a former Indiana State Representative for District 20 and a proud La Porte resident. He represented a great portion of La Porte County in the General Assembly from 2006-2016. Additionally, he has also served on the La Porte School Board and is a former small business owner.
Dermody formally announced his mayoral candidacy in March of 2018. Since then, he has made promises to deliver on much-needed improvements to the city.
“I made commitments based on what people in the community want, which is a standard of excellence for roads, bringing pride back to our community and making sure the drug traffickers feel uncomfortable and unprofitable,” Dermody said. “Some of these issues don’t take a lot of money, they take a lot of rolling up your sleeves and getting busy."
During his campaign, Dermody identified code enforcement to be a top priority for the city. He has cited “dilapidated buildings” as one of the city’s major problems. He plans to put residential code enforcement into immediate focus.
Improving the infrastructure of La Porte is another priority for Dermody. When he takes office at the beginning of next year he hopes to “focus on making dramatic improvements” by using his experience as a former State Representative to compete for funds necessary to build and repair La Porte roads.
In his time as mayor, Dermody hopes to attract new business to the city. He plans to push the city forward in economic development and community growth by bringing in “high quality, and community-minded” companies who are looking to employ La Porte residents.
He expects collaboration to be key to this endeavor.
"Our La Porte government will provide top-notch service to residents and businesses, which will create an environment where companies will want to be,” he said.
The mayor-elect will take office in early January 2020. In the meantime, Dermody plans on taking a quick breather before getting back to business.
“I don’t want to waste these next 60 days here,” Dermody said. “I’m going to continue to learn as much as I can and keep engaging with the community because I think that La Porte is ready to work together to make the city a special place.”
Dermody’s opponent in the mayoral race, Matt Wilhelm could not be reached for comment on the election results.