TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Lafayette's Democratic Mayor Tony Roswarski is endorsing long-time Republican county commissioner Dave Byers.
"Local government is about getting the right people into the right positions, and it really shouldn't be about politics," Roswarski says.
Byers is running for reelection against Democrat Erica Beumel.
"I think you could definitely look at Tippecanoe County as a whole, we've all tried to work together and really the Rs or Ds or Is have all been kind of check at the border line," Byers says.
The mayor and commissioner are on the same page on a variety of issues, including economic development over the last decade. But they differ on the county's controversial needle exchange program. Byers has voted for the program, which is designed to curb the spread of diseases among opioid users.
"If we can get them into the door and we can get them to treatment, we can get them headed in the right direction, and then I'm hoping we're doing the right thing," Byers says.
Roswarski says he's opposed to the program's location in a central Lafayette neighborhood.
"No, I wouldn't say that we agree on that exactly, but that's the other important thing, we can agree to disagree and still stay civil," Roswarski says.
Roswarski is up for reelection in 2023. He isn't concerned about how his endorsement could affect his campaign.
"I think they've appreciated the bipartisan approach that I've taken and the way I work across the aisle with people," he says.
Beumel says she's disappointed by Roswarski's endorsement. But she's focusing on her campaign platform, which includes environmental protection and food security.
"My focus is on our campaign and what we would like to do, and how I would like to represent the people of District 2 as a whole throughout the whole county," she says.