November 9, 2016
Once again, Indiana was the first RED state on the national map. President-elect Donald Trump won 88 of 92 counties in Indiana by a margin of 57%-38%. He provided the first substantial Republican coattails move in Indiana since Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984.
With the assistance of the Trump factor current, Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb (R) and Auditor Suzanne Crouch (R) will lead Indiana in 2017 after winning 51%-45%. Note: One of the first actions items Governor Holcomb will do is appoint a new State Auditor once Crouch resigns and is sworn in as Lt. Governor. As potential names surface we will share. Governor-elect Holcomb announced his transition team on November 9. Next Level Indiana Inc. will be the not-for-profit entity managing the transition under Lt. Governor Crouch. The transition co-chairs will be Earl Goode (former Governor Daniels chief of staff) and Kyle Hupfer (former director of Indiana Department of Natural Resources).
Transition members are:
Allison Barber – chancellor of Western Governors University – Indiana
Brian Bauer – CEO of Lutheran Health Network
Brian Burdick – managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Indianapolis office
Ann Hathaway – president, Hathaway Strategies
Rebecca Holwerda – director of northwest Indiana for Senator Dan Coats
Jeff Knight – executive vice president and chief legal counsel of Old National Bank
Blair Milo – mayor of LaPorte
Jim Morris – vice chairman, Pacers Sports and Entertainment
Jamey Noel – sheriff of Clark County
Ed Simcox – former Indiana Secretary of State
Becky Skillman – former Indiana Lt. Governor
Jamal Smith – district athletic director for Indianapolis Public Schools
Susanna Suarez – president, town council, City of Zionsville
Rudy Yakym III – senior vice president of Bradley Company
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill (R) defeats long time Lake County Judge Lorenzo Arrendondo (D) with a 62%-38% vote.
Yorktown Superintendent Jennifer McCormick (R) shocked incumbent Glenda Ritz (D) by a 53%-47% margin. Again pundits are pointing to the Trump factor in Dr. McCormick’s success.
Congressman Todd Young (R) defeats iconic politico Evan Bayh (D) by 52%-42% to head to the US Senate. Democrats counted on a Bayh victory for a Senate majority in Washington DC.
District 1: (I) Pete Visclosky (D) wins easily
District 2: (I) Jackie Walorski (R) defeats Lynn Coleman (D)
District 3: (Open seat) State Senator Jim Banks defeats Tommy Schrader (D)
District 4: (I) Todd Rokita (R) wins easily
District 5: (I) Susan Brooks (R) defeats Angela Demaree (D)
District 6: (I) Luke Messer (R) defeats Barry Welsh (D)
District 7: (I) Andre Carson (D) defeats Catherine Ping (R)
District 8: (I) Larry Bucshon (R) defeats Ron Drake (D)
District 9: (Open seat) Trey Hollingsworth (R) defeats Shelli Yoder (D). This seat received much air time but ultimately was not a contest
Indiana House of Representatives 70-30
HD 2 (Harris): Earl L. Harris, Jr. (D)
HD 7 (Niezgodski): Justin Chupp (R) v. Joe Taylor (D)
HD 12 Mara Candelaria Reardon returns to the State House by defeating incumbent Bill Fine HD 17 (Harman): Jack Jordan (R) defeats Michelle Livinghouse (D)
HD 19 Rep. Julie Olthoff is currently holding a 300 vote lead over former Representative Shelli VanDenburgh. As of this writing this one may be recounted
HD 20 (Dermody): Jim Pressel (R) defeats Karen Biernacki (D)
HD 26 (Truitt): Sally Siegrist (R) defeats Victoria Woeste (D)
HD 47 (Price): John T. Young (R) defeats Mike Reddick (D)
HD 65 (Koch): Chris May (R) defeats Chris Woods (D)
HD 70 (Rhoads): Karen Engleman (R) defeats Heidi Cade Sellers (D) R
HD 77 (Riecken): v. Ryan Hatfield (D) defeats Johnny Kincaid (R)
HD 85 (Cox): Dave Heine (R)
HD 87 (Hale): v. Carey Hamilton (D) defeats Connie Eckert (R)
Indiana State Senate 41-9
SD 3 (Rogers): Eddie Melton (D) 3
SD 8 (Arnold): Mike Bohacek (R) defeats Maxine Spenner (D) Thus, reducing the Democrat Caucus membership to 9.
SD 10 (Broden): Rep. David Niezgodski (D) defeats Gerard Arthus (R)
SD 12 (Yoder): Blake Doriot (R) defeats Carl Rust (D)
SD 17 (Banks) TBA State Sen Banks wins the US House District 3. Local precinct officials will authorize his replacement to the Indiana General Assembly
SD 24 (Pete Miller): John Crane (R) SD 30 (Schneider): John Ruckelshaus (R) defeats Pamela Hickman (D)
SD 32 (Pat Miller): Aaron Freeman (R) defeats Sara Wiley (D)
SD 36 (Waltz): Jack Sandlin (R) defeats Sean Gorman SB 44 (Steele): Rep. Eric Koch (R) defeats Linda Henderson (D)
2017 Preview of the 120th Indiana General Assembly
Legislators will convene on Tuesday, November 22, for Organization Day to begin preparation for the “long” session of the 120th Indiana General Assembly. The economy seems stable and Indiana has a structural surplus of over a billion dollars. Indiana has elected a new Governor — Current Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. Both the Indiana House (70- 30, pending a possible recount) and the State Senate (41-9) remain under Republican super majorities.
The General Assembly will reconvene on approximately January 3, 2017 to begin the session in earnest. There will be no restrictions in the Senate, but House members will likely be limited to authoring a maximum of 10 bills. We anticipate that the first extensive bill list from the Senate will be out around the end of the year while the House rules require waiting until the first session day. The legislators must complete their work and Sine Die by midnight on April 29, 2017. The only bill that must pass in the odd number years is the biennial budget.
All sessions tend to have unique personalities. Before this upcoming session begins it could be branded as the year of NEW FACES as there will be significant historical knowledge retiring from the Indiana General Assembly. There will be at least 23 NEW legislators as a result of retirements and the election this week. A new Governor will bring new department appointees. It will be a sea of NEW FACES.
For the House and Senate each caucus will meet on November 9th to elect their respective leadership, but no change is expected… However, significant committees in both chambers need new chairpersons due to the aforementioned retirements. Expect those announcements to be made on Organization Day if not before. In the Senate, new chairs are needed for Health and Provider Services, Homeland Security and Transportation, Judiciary and the Veterans Affairs and the Military committees. In the House, it’s the Local Government, Public Policy, and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications committees that will have new chairs. In both chambers, there may be some moving around so stay tuned for all of the changes.
Hopefully the 2017 “long” session will be less contentious, as legislators will be highly focused on the biennium budget. It is the single most important issue to be addressed in the session. All parties are promising new jobs, and thus, we anticipate a number of bills to encourage Indiana growth. Other hot topics are infrastructure maintenance, broadband access and expanded pre-kindergarten funding. Tension over replacing ISTEP is ongoing. With a Republican State School Superintendent comes the rumor of making it an appointed position. Indianapolis passed its transit tax increase and most school tax referendums also passed. And, expect the new Governor to set goals too!!
Fasten your seat belts and stay tuned…