2014 Election Recap: Republicans Win Big Statewide; Democrats Dominate in Marion County
The make-up of the Indiana Congressional Delegation remains unchanged:
District 1: Visclosky (D) (61%)
District 2: Walorski (R) (59%)
District 3: Stutzman (R) (69%)
District 4: Rokita (R) (64%)
District 5: Brooks (R) (65%)
District 6: Messer (R) (66%)
District 7: Carson (D) (55%)
District 8: Bucshon (R) (60%)
District 9: Young (R) (63%)
INDIANA STATEWIDE RACES
Republican women win big
Auditor Suzanne Crouch and Secretary of State Connie Lawson were both easily elected to full, four-year terms, while voters picked Republican Kelly Mitchell as state treasurer.
Lawson will serve her first full term as secretary of state. She was appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in March 2012 to fill the vacancy created after Charlie White was convicted of perjury, theft and voter fraud.
Lawson served in the Indiana Senate from 1996 to 2012 and was the first woman in Indiana appointed as Senate majority floor leader. Previously, she was the clerk in Hendricks County.
As secretary of state, Lawson has championed vote centers — centralized polling places that 19 counties are now using during elections. She also helped spur a crowdfunding initiative for local start-up businesses called Invest in Indiana.
Lawson promised to continue programs that teach Hoosiers financial literacy and digital security. She also said she would continue to be tough on securities crimes.
Down the ballot, Republicans easily held off challenges for the treasurer's and auditor's races. That's nothing new. Republicans have held the auditor's office since 1986 and the treasurer's office since 1979.
In the auditor race, Republican Suzanne Crouch faced Democrat Mike Claytor and Libertarian John Schick.
Crouch has served since Gov. Mike Pence appointed her in January to fill a vacancy first created when Tim Berry accepted the job as Indiana Republican Party chairman.
Crouch is a former state representative who served as co-chair of the state budget writing House Ways and Means Committee.
In the treasurer race, Mitchell faced Democrat Mike Boland and Libertarian Mike Jasper. With 78 percent of precincts reporting at press time, AP called the race for Mitchell, with 58 percent of the vote. Boland had 37 percent and Jasper had 5 percent.
Mitchell has worked the past six years as director of TrustINdiana, an investment fund managed by the treasurer's office. She is a former Cass County commissioner.
Incumbent Daniel Huge, appointed by Pence in August to fill the vacancy left by Richard Mourdock, did not seek election.
INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Republicans maintained a supermajority with 71 members
The Republican Caucus met Nov. 5th
to organize and elect their leadership for the upcoming legislative session. The caucus re-elected State Representative Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) to his fourth term as Speaker of the House. In addition, State Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville) was selected to serve again as Caucus Chairwoman. This will be Rep. Richardson’s fourth term as Majority Caucus Chair.
State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) was newly elected to serve as Floor Leader. Former Majority Floor Leader, State Representative Bill Friend (R-Macy) will be appointed by Speaker Bosma to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore. Further appointments to the House Republican leadership team will be made in the coming weeks.
Hoosiers re-elected 63 members of the House Republican Caucus along with 8 newly elected House members:
Michael Aylesworth (R-Hebron), Retired Co-founder of Iroquois Bio Energy Company, representing House District 11;
Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville), Owner/Operator Borders Insurance and Financial Services and Elvis Impersonator, representing House District 45;
Mike Braun (R-Jasper), Owner of Meyer Distributing, representing House District 63;
Bill Fine (R-Munster), Attorney, representing House District 12;
Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne), Production Worker at General Motors, representing House District 83;
Doug Miller (R-Elkhart), Owner of D.L. Miller Construction, Creekside Realty LLC, and White Pines Properties, representing House District 48;
Curt Nisly (R-Goshen) Founder of C-Tech Solutions, representing House District 22 and;
Julie Olthoff (R-Crown Point), President of VIA Marketing, representing House District 19.
In District 35, Democrat Melanie Wright unseated incumbent Rep. Jack Lutz with a narrow 51-49 percent victory.
The House Democratic Caucus met and selected Scott Pelath as Minority Leader for a second term. The caucus also selected Linda Lawson as Floor Leaders and John Bartlett as Caucus Chairman.
INDIANA STATE SENATE
Republicans maintain supermajority with 40 members
The Indiana Senate Majority Caucus met Nov. 5th in Indianapolis to elect its leadership team. Eight senators-elect joined with incumbent caucus members to re-elect State Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) as their choice for Senate President Pro Tempore and State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) as Majority Caucus Chairman. Long has served as President Pro Tempore since 2006, and Merritt has held his leadership post since 2004. The rest of the leadership team is as follows:
Assistant President Pro Tempore – Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis)
Majority Floor Leader – Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek)
Majority Floor Leader Emeritus – Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger)
Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Communications – Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport)
Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Parliamentary Affairs – Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford)
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair – Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville)
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair – Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville)
Majority Whip – Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen)
Attending Wednesday's meeting were eight newly-elected Republicans to the Indiana Senate:
Senate District 6: Rick Niemeyer, Lowell
Senate District 15: Liz Brown, Fort Wayne
Senate District 27: Jeff Raatz, Richmond
Senate District 38: Jon Ford, Terre Haute
Senate District 39: Eric Bassler, Washington
Senate District 43: Chip Perfect, Lawrenceburg
Senate District 47: Erin Houchin, Salem
Senate District 48: Mark Messmer, Jasper
During a Statehouse caucus also held on Wednesday, the Senate Democrats voted to re-elect State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) as Democratic Floor Leader and State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) as Assistant Democratic Floor Leader. Additionally, State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) was re-elected Caucus Chairman.
Senate Committee Chairs:
2015-2016 Senate Committee Chairmanships are as follows:
Senate Committee on Agriculture – Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg)
Senate Committee on Appropriations – Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville)
Senate Committee on Civil Law – Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger)
Senate Committee on Commerce and Technology – Sen. Jim Buck (R-Kokomo)
Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law – Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis)
Senate Committee on Education and Career Development – Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn)
Senate Committee on Elections – Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus)
Senate Committee on Environmental Affairs – Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso)
Senate Committee on Family and Children – Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville)
Senate Committee on Insurance and Financial Institutions – Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle)
Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services – Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis)
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation – Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury)
Senate Committee on Judiciary – Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford)
Senate Committee on Local Government – Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport)
Senate Committee on Natural Resources – Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange)
Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor – Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville)
Senate Committee on Public Policy – Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette)
Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy – Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek)
Senate Committee on Utilities – Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)
Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Military – Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)*
Senate Committee on Ethics – Sen. Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown)
Senate Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure – Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne)
* - Sen. Mike Crider (R-Greenfield) will serve as interim chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Military until Sen. Banks returns from his overseas duties.
THE CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS
Democrats sweep city elections
All the major races, including sheriff, prosecutor, clerk, auditor and recorder, were won by Democrats.
Sheriff John Layton won a second term by a wide margin over Republican challenger Emmitt Carney. Layton had captured 59 percent of the vote with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry cruised past Republican challenger Duane Merchant with more than 60 percent of the vote.
In the race for Marion County clerk, Myla Eldridge defeated Republican Christine Bischoff.
Democratic candidate Julie L. Voorhies beat Republican Tracy McCarty in the election for county auditor.
Democrat Kate Sweeney Bell topped Republican Terry Dove in the race for recorder.
Indianapolis Public Schools
Advocates for big changes in Indianapolis Public Schools trounced three sitting board members in a landslide election that saw big-spending challengers roll to easy wins.
Former state Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan won the at-large seat with 46 percent of the vote, 26 percentage points ahead of school board president Annie Roof, according to final, unofficial results from the Marion County Election Board.
Ex-school board member Kelly Bentley took back her District 3 seat from Samantha Adair-White with 55 percent of the vote and a 19-point win. And charter school dean LaNier Echols cruised to a surprisingly easy win over IPS’s longest-serving board member Michael Brown by 12 points with 56 percent of the vote.
Sullivan, Echols and Bentley had raised more than $100,000 in October, according to filings with the Marion County Board of Elections, while the incumbents had about $6,000. The challengers also received huge support from outside groups like Stand For Children, which advocates for change in the district and ran its own campaign to support them.
The newly elected school board members will help make a new majority, expected to push even more strongly for reforms like making schools more autonomous, reducing the size of IPS’s central office and partnering with charter schools.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.