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vacant seat on lp commission filled

Monday, May 07, 2018 15:26 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Connie Gramarossa will gain experience as a LaPorte County Commissioner while seeking a four-year term for the seat during this year's campaign.

The Rolling Prairie area woman was appointed during a LaPorte County Republican Party caucus Saturday to fill the remaining eight months on the term of Mike Gonder, who citing personal reasons stepped down April 20.

She was the only person seeking the open seat on the three-member county commission.

Gramarossa, owner of Bella's Barn antique store at 912 Franklin St. in MIchigan City, said fighting the drug problem, economic development and improving quality of life are her biggest priorities.

She's been actively engaged in community affairs the past three-years but feeling she could make a difference following a drug overdose in 2017 outside her store prompted her to make her first run at public office, she said.

''As a commissioner, I support all of those who seek to break the bond of addiction. Together, we will address these issues and make our county a healthier place to live,'' Gramarossa said.

Gramarossa and democrat Sheila Brillson are running unopposed for their party's nominations in Tuesday's primary and face each other in the November general election.

Brillson was mayor of Michigan City until 2003 when she left six months before the end of her second term to relocate to the state of Washington.

She returned in 2015.

Gramarossa, who came here to live 11-years ago from Springfield, Illinois, said she doesn't view the campaign as her running against Brillson.

Her approach is letting voters decide based on her performance and what she brings to the table.

''I'm looking at doing the job for the county. I need to keep doing what I've been doing all along,'' she said.

Ron Shafer, a LaPorte County republican precinct committeeman, said Gramarossa has a masters of business degree.

After her son born with a hearing disability, she dropped her career aspirations to learn sign language to help him be independent then later became certified at teaching special education to help others.

''She's a tireless worker. She has been brought up to work until the job is done. Not a nine to fiver,'' Shafer said.
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