INGOP TAKE RECORD 70 MAYORAL RACES: The Indiana Republican Party achieved a new record in this year’s municipal elections, ending the 2019 cycle with 70 Republican mayors throughout Indiana. This involved flipping 19 mayoral offices, including those in traditional Democrat strongholds Kokomo, Muncie, Logansport and Michigan City (Howey Politics Indiana). Some 17 mayors were defeated for reelection, joining three who lost in the primary. Republicans now hold 23 more mayoral offices than Democrats, another record. “It was a historic night for Republicans throughout Indiana as voters in city after city elected Republicans mayors,” said Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer. “Never in the history of Indiana have Republicans held this many mayoral offices or had this wide a margin over Democrats.” Not content to compete in just one region, the Indiana Republican Party invested time, talent and significant resources in races throughout the state. This coordination and teamwork led to an unprecedented flip of 19 mayoral offices in cities across the state. The trend carried throughout the state. Terre Haute, Lawrence, Jeffersonville, Logansport, Winchester, Bluffton, Hartford City and Greensburg all elected Republican mayors, just to name a few.

DEMS HANG ON TO INDY, FORT WAYNE; MOVE IN SUBURBS: Indiana Democrats held on to the two largest city halls in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne where Mayor Tom Henry won an unprecedented fourth term with a landslide victory over Tim Smith, and picked up Elkhart with Rod Roberson’s defeat of former mayor Dave Miller. Joe Hogsett won a second term in the capital city, easily dispatching State Sen. Jim Merritt (Howey Politics Indiana). Democrats also made suburban gains with Emily Styron upsetting Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak, as well as picking up council seats in the Republican strongholds Carmel and Fishers. Democrats also took control of the Columbus City Council in Vice President Mike Pence's hometown. But Republicans prevailed in the old auto belt, flipping mayoral races in Muncie, Kokomo and Logansport. Republican Tyler Moore defeated Democrat Abbie Smith in the open Kokomo seat, Chris Martin upset first-term Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell, and Muncie Councilman Dan Ridenour defeated Democrat Terry Whitt Bailey. For pure drama, Republican Duane Parry upset indicted Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer by 76 votes. Meer was indicted late last week after the drug arrest of his step-son roiled the Michigan City Police Department. In Terre Haute, Republican Mayor Duke Bennett fended off a spirited challenge from independent Pat Goodwin, winning by less than 250 votes and voters in Vigo County easily passed a referendum allowing a Gary casino to move there. In Richmond, Mayor Dave Snow cruised to a second term, while Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick also won a second term. In southern Indiana, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan defeated Republican Mark Seabrook and independent Dan Coffey with 55% of the vote. In Jeffersonville, Republican Mayor Mike Moore easily dispatched former mayor Tom Galligan with 70%. Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke coasted to a third term, while Bloomington Democrat John Hamilton won a second term.

PARRY UPSETS INDICTED MAYOR MEER: For the first time in 44 years, Michigan City has elected a Republican mayor. Duane Parry unseated incumbent Mayor Ron Meer in Tuesday’s election by just 76 votes (Mayes, Michigan City News-Dispatch). “It’s long overdue,” Parry said Tuesday while doing a victory lap at American Legion Skwiat Post 451. “Michigan City has been struggling for years. And I hope that someday the public will look back on my time as mayor as the reformation of Michigan City, when we brought the town back.” Parry said the major focus going into his term as mayor will be to reprioritize Riverboat Fund spending, and to focus more on the city’s residents than has been done in the past. “I’m going to light Michigan City up,” he said. “The Westside, the Eastside, the neighborhoods that need help are going to get it.” Parry said he anticipates he’ll have to “walk in cold” without much help transitioning from the current mayor. Meer said as much Tuesday night when he addressed the media from his headquarters at the old Elston Zip convenience store, noting the two have different styles. “I’d say we disagreed on a lot more than we ever agreed on,” he said of Parry, who was the 5th Ward representative to the Michigan City Common Council during Meer’s first term as mayor from 2012-2015.

LYNCH UPSETS MAYOR CANNON IN PORTAGE: Democrat Sue Lynch pulled ahead late in a tight race Tuesday night to unseat Republican Mayor John Cannon (Kasarda, NWI Times). It will be a return to the office for Lynch, who had served as mayor for a couple of weeks following former Republican Mayor James Snyder's federal conviction in February on bribery and tax obstruction charges. Lynch had taken over the city's top job by virtue of her position as city council president. "We both worked very hard to win our race," Lynch said. She said her edge came in remaining focused and having a strong team. Her victory was part of a Democratic sweep in the city, including all seven seats on the city council and the clerk-treasurer's office. "It'a great day for Portage Democrats," she said. "I am running for mayor because it is time to bring fiscal responsibility, honesty, integrity and transparency back to our city," Lynch had said. Lynch was replaced as mayor at the start of March by Cannon, who was voted in by Republican precinct officials to finish Snyder's term. Lynch said her top goals include getting the city's finances in order in the wake of "living 'paycheck to paycheck,' spending money that was not budgeted for, and running our city into debt."

HENRY WINS HISTORIC 4TH TERM IN FORT WAYNE: In his biggest victory since 2007, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was elected to another four-year term Tuesday, making him the only mayor in city history to be elected to four consecutive terms in office (Gong, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). According to unofficial results from the Allen County Election Board, Henry, a Democrat, was elected with 61.21% of the vote. Republican challenger Tim Smith came away with 38.79% of the ballots cast. Henry earned 56.8% in 2015; 49.85% in 2011; and 60% in 2007. At least two other mayors have been elected to four terms – William J. Hosey and Harry Baals – but neither served all four terms consecutively. In remarks to the assembled crowd at Grand Wayne Center, Henry thanked Smith for having the courage to run for mayor. “I realize that this particular campaign was very aggressive and very strong and at times contentious,” Henry said. “But I will not say anything against candidate Smith. He had the courage to step up and run for an office. Not everyone can do that.”  Henry was joined in victory by four Democrats who were elected or reelected to the Fort Wayne City Council: Geoff Paddock, Sharon Tucker, Michelle Chambers and Glynn Hines.

BENNETT STAVES OFF GOODWIN FOR 4TH TERM: Incumbent Republican Mayor Duke Bennett captured a historic fourth term in Tuesday’s Terre Haute municipal election, tying for the second-longest serving mayor in city history (Modesitt, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). With all 14 voting centers accounted for and 50 of 51 precincts counted as of 10 p.m., Bennett led independent candidate Pat Goodwin by 216 votes, or 5,178 votes for Bennett to 4,962 for Goodwin, according to unofficial totals from the Vigo County Clerk’s Office. Democrat candidate Karrum Nasser finished third with 2,142 votes. Independent candidate Shane Meehan finished fourth with 117 votes. Bennett said he felt good about his standing in the race coming into the day, saying the feedback he was getting was largely positive. “You never really know what’s going to happen, even though we’ve been through this three times before, but I felt good coming into today,” Bennett said. “And then spending all day out at the precincts and watching the returns come in, I knew we were where we needed to be to have a chance.”

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BESHEAR WINS RAZOR THIN BOMBSHELL IN KY: Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear declared victory in Kentucky governor's race as he held a razor-thin margin over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin after Tuesday's election. But Bevin says don't be so sure (Louisville Courier-Journal). Beshear, a Louisville attorney, led by less than 4,700 votes as of 10 p.m. and tweeted a photo of himself and his running mate, Jacqueline Coleman, with the caption "Thank you, Kentucky!" Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN her office has called the race for Beshear. Bevin had a 5% polling lead last week and had President Trump and Vice President Pence stump for him in the final week. “I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to Gov. Bevin yet but my expectation is he will honor, he will honor the election that was held tonight, that he will help us make this transition," Beshear told supporters at C2 Event Venue in Louisville. "And I tell you what, we will be ready for that first day in office and I look forward to it." But Bevin told Republicans assembled at the Galt House in downtown Louisville that he was not conceding to Beshear, who has been his bitter rival since 2015. "This is a close, close race," Bevin said. "We are not conceding this race by any stretch." The governor said he wants the election process to be followed before he alluded to "irregularities" that he said "were very well corroborated." Bevin did not specify what those issues surrounding the election were or if they would impact the outcome. "Four years ago I found myself in a very similar situation," Bevin told supporters.

DEMOCRATS PREVAIL IN VA LEGISLATURE: Republicans awoke Wednesday to a stark new political reality in Virginia after losing majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, a sweeping defeat that solidifies Democratic control over the state capital for the first time in a generation (Washington Post). Depleted by President Trump’s floundering approval rating in Virginia, the Republicans’ defeat was a new low for a party that has not won a statewide race since Bob McDonnell became governor in 2009. “If you didn’t see this coming, you’ve been living under a rock,” said Dan Scandling, who was chief of staff to former congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia). “Virginia has been trending this way for years. Being so close to Washington — and add in the anti-Trump phenomenon — it was only a matter of time.”

SONDLAND CHANGES TESTIMONY; DESCRIBES QUID PRO QUO: A U.S. diplomat who is a key witness in the House impeachment probe told Ukrainians over the summer that aid to that country would continue to be held up until Kyiv committed to investigations that President Trump had been seeking, according to a revised statement to investigators (Wall Street Journal). The testimony by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, makes him the fourth witness to describe a purported quid pro quo between nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine and investigations into Democrat Joe Biden and alleged 2016 election interference that Mr. Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani were pushing Kyiv to announce. The impeachment inquiry is centered on those efforts, alleging that they amount to an abuse of presidential power designed to boost Mr. Trump’s re-election prospects. The inquiry was set off by a July 25 phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch those probes.

ELECTION EXPERTS FRET DEEP FAKE VIDEOS: Election officials and social media firms already flummoxed by hackers, trolls and bots are bracing for a potentially more potent weapon of disinformation as the 2020 election approaches — doctored videos, known as “deep fakes,” that can be nearly impossible to detect as inauthentic (Los Angeles Times). In tech company board rooms, university labs and Pentagon briefings, technologists on the front lines of cybersecurity have sounded alarms over the threat, which they say has increased markedly as the technology to make convincing fakes has become increasingly available. On Tuesday, leaders in artificial intelligence plan to unveil a tool to push back — it includes scanning software that UC Berkeley has been developing in partnership with the U.S. military, which the industry will start providing to journalists and political operatives. The goal is to give the media and campaigns a chance to screen possible fake videos before they could throw an election into chaos. The worry that has gripped artificial intelligence innovators is of a fake video surfacing days before a major election that could throw a race into turmoil. Perhaps it would be grainy footage purporting to show President Trump plotting to enrich himself off the presidency or Joe Biden hatching a deal with industry lobbyists or Sen. Elizabeth Warren mocking Native Americans.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Some early take aways from the municipal elections: Across the small and mid-sized towns, the Indiana Republican Party remains very strong, with pickups in cities like Kokomo, Muncie, Logansport, and Peru. Democrats easily prevailed in the big cities, including a dominating performance in the Evansville council races despite Republican Mayor Winnecke's dominating win as well as Mayor Henry and Mayor Hogsett easily winning fourth and second terms. Democrats have to be buoyed by their encroachment in suburban Indianapolis, with that upset win in Zionsville by Emily Styron and winning council seats in Carmel and Fishers. We'll have the most comprehensive analysis you can find in Thursday's weekly HPI. Look for it around 9 tomorrow. - Brian A. Howey


RIDENOUR CRUISES IN MUNCIE; COUNCIL GOES GOP: Election night saw major changes come to the city of Muncie as Dan Ridenour rode atop a Republican wave through the election on Tuesday, winning the mayoral race in dominating fashion (Ohlenkamp, Muncie Star Press). Ridenour, the Republican candidate, defeated Terry Whitt Bailey, the Democrat candidate. Ridenour received 7,120 votes to Bailey's 4,264 and Libertarian Steve Smith's 199. Ridenour won 61 percent of the vote. “I'm thrilled that the voters of Muncie decided to make this change, changing style, changing opportunities,” Ridenour said during an interview after the victory. Ridenour kicked off his victory speech with the core arguments and goals that were his focus since he announced his campaign. “I can tell you right now we are going to do what we said we're gonna do,” Ridenour told an ecstatic crowd. The Muncie City Council will have a GOP majority for the first time in 40 years.

ROBERSON BECOMES ELKHART'S FIRST BLACK MAYOR: Democrat Rod Roberson, who served four terms as an at-large councilman, was voted the city’s first black mayor Tuesday (South Bend Tribune). Roberson defeated Republican and former Elkhart mayor David Miller with 56% of the vote. He garnered 3,599 votes to Miller’s 2,773. The two candidates were vying to replace Republican Tim Neese who choose not two run for a second term. In contested Elkhart council races, Republicans Kevin Bullard and Mary Olson and Democrat Arvis Dawson all won at-large seats while Democrat Gerry Roberts won in District 1, Republican Brian Thomas in District 2 and Democrat Tonda Hines in District 6.

HOGSETT WINS 2ND TERM IN INDY: Joe Hogsett has been re-elected as mayor of Indianapolis. Hogsett was challenged by Republican Jim Merritt and Libertarian Douglas McNaughton, but pulled away early Tuesday night. At one point, he held 75% of the vote (Berman, WIBC). "This night is young, but I am not," Hogsett said in his victory speech at the Athenaeum in the Basil Theater. "Tonight, we celebrate a victory that is sweet because, like this building, like this city, it is something we built ourselves. It is a monument to something that is uniquely ours, and my friends, we're not done building yet," Hogsett said. Merritt called Hogsett to concede the race shortly after 8 pm. Democrats picked up at least five seats — and possibly six, depending on the outcome of a race with a razor-thin margin. Republican leader Mike McQuillen was among the GOP casualties.

TYLER MOORE WINS KOKOMO WITH 68%: Republican Tyler Moore is set to become the new mayor of Kokomo after riding a tidal wave of GOP support Tuesday night that led to Republican candidates winning every seat on the ballot, including what appears to be every Kokomo Common Council position (Myers, Kokomo Tribune). Moore took 68% of the vote to beat out Democrat Abbie Smith, ending the fierce and sometimes contentious campaign between the two candidates that launched after the May primary. After the final results were announced, Moore took to the stage and danced a jig as a bluegrass band jammed out on the stage in front of the venue, which was packed nearly wall-to-wall with GOP supporters. “They’re expecting more from the mayor, they’re expecting more from the council, they’re expecting more from the city government, and we now have the opportunity to do that,” he said. Republicans took all nine seats on the Kokomo City Council.

HODGES UPSETS MAYOR HALL IN CHARLESTOWN: Political newcomer Treva Hodges, a Democrat, defeated 16-year incumbent Republican Bob Hall for the Charlestown mayor's seat by a mere 30 votes Tuesday. "I felt like the atmosphere was there all along,” Hodges said (Schmelz, News & Tribune). “We had extremely positive engagement, whether on social media, door to door or even at the grocery store where we went." Learning he fell short to Hodges – 1,324 to her 1,354 votes – surprised Hall. “I was shocked,” he said. “I thought it was going to be a close race, but I thought we would win by a comparable number.” "This election has been so contested and so intense and it has so much at stake,” Hodges said. “Some even had their homes at stake.”

MARTIN UPSETS KITCHELL IN LOGANSPORT: The after-election gathering for Mayor-elect Chris Martin and City Councilman At Large-elect Jonathan Nelms officially started and ended with prayers (Logansport Pharos-Tribune). “As Chris believes and I believe in the power of Jesus Christ, we’re going to start off right — with a prayer,” said Pastor Benjamin Grant of the Church of the Heartland. Grant also compared Martin to a Biblical youth that slayed a giant. “Just like David — he reminds me a lot of Chris,” Grant said. At 28 years old, Martin will become the youngest mayor in Logansport history. Martin won by a narrow margin, gaining 51.4 percent of the vote — winning by just 57 votes over incumbent Democrat Dave Kitchell. Voter turnout for the election was 23.8 percent. Kitchell said he was disappointed in the media coverage of the mayoral race and by the lack of turnout among local Democrats. “I don’t think we had a single story about a lot of our accomplishments,” he said. “It’s hard to run well when we don’t have people covering the stories coming out of our meetings.” Kitchell said that a 23.8 percent total turnout wasn’t going to carry the day when Democrats don’t have the majority of voters registered in Logansport. “I think there was this perception that we had this in the bag — we had it won, we didn’t have anything to worry about,” he said. “We had Republicans that crossed over to vote for us but we just had a lot of people that stayed home — especially the independent voters that figured it was a forgone conclusion.”

MAYOR GAHAN PREVAILS IN NEW ALBANY WITH 55%: New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan held on to his office (WAVE-TV). Gahan, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Mark Seabrook, with 55 percent of the vote. Seabrook claimed 40 percent, while independent Dan Coffey picked up 5 percent of the votes.

MOORE WINS CONVINCING THIRD TERM IN JEFFERSONVILLE: The top office in the City of Jeffersonville will continue to be held by Mayor Mike Moore for four more years (Boyle, News & Tribune). Moore won his third term in convincing fashion, with his 8,331 votes dwarfing the 3,701 picked up by Democratic challenger Tom Galligan. "Jeffersonville is still 54 percent Democrat," Moore said. "I take a lot of pride in knowing a large number of Democrats voted for us. I think that's because we've never let party affiliation factor into decisions that are made for the city." When he faced off against Galligan in 2011, Moore won by a margin of six percentage points. In 2015, that figure jumped to eight points.

URAN WINS 4TH TERM IN CROWN POINT: David Uran will continue to serve the city of Crown Point as mayor for the next four years (Freda, NWI Times). Early numbers show Uran held 78% of the vote, while challenger Kristie Dressel had 22%. Uran, who will head into his fourth term, thanked the voters for having confidence in the vision he and his team have for the city. "Tonight we're seeing, especially in the mayor's race, a final endorsement by the community for how Crown Point's future is going to look," Uran said to a room of family, friends and fellow officials.

BRODERICK WINS SECOND TERM IN ANDERSON: Incumbent Thomas Broderick Jr. won reelection Tuesday to a second term as mayor, never trailing as the votes were counted on Election Day (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). Broderick becomes the first Anderson mayor to serve consecutive terms in office since Democrat J. Mark Lawler served four terms from 1988 through 2004. After just 19 of the 51 precincts in Anderson had been counted, Broderick was receiving 58% of the vote compared to 33% for Republican Rick Gardner and 8% for Libertarian Rob Jozwiak. After all precincts had been counted, Broderick’s margin narrowed only slightly, to 55% of the vote, compared to 36% for Gardner and 9% for Jozwiak. Surrounded by supporters at Democratic Party headquarters, Broderick celebrated his victory by a margin of 1,933 votes over Gardner. “I’m appreciative of the hard work put in by the entire team and our supporters,” Broderick said. “I felt like we’ve done a lot of great things over the past four years and there is more work to be done. We will continue to move forward with our economic development and quality-of-life plans.”

STYRON UPSETS MAYOR HAAK IN ZIONSVILLE:  Democrats celebrated other victories in Indy's once unshakably Republican northern suburbs. Democrat Emily Styron ousted Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak by 88 votes, while Democrats won two city council seats in Fishers and one in Carmel, the first time they've ever held council seats in either city (WIBC).

INDEPENDENT STRICK WINS IN HUNTINGTON: Independent candidate Richard Strick won the Huntington mayoral race (Huntington Herald-Press).

HEWETT STUNS PERU MAYOR GREER WITH 60%: Miles Hewitt, a 38-year veteran of the Peru Police Department and political newcomer, soundly defeated two other candidates Tuesday to win the Republican bid for Peru mayor (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). Hewitt took nearly 60% of the vote during Tuesday’s primary election, with 750 residents casting ballots in the race. Wayne Bunker, a former Peru Community Schools board member who ran for mayor in 2015 as an independent, took 23% of the vote. David Makin, who ran for mayor eight years ago, won 17%. Hewitt will now face off against incumbent Democratic Mayor Gabe Greer in November’s general election. Greer is seeking his second term in office. Hewitt said Tuesday evening he was “elated” by his overwhelming victory against his two competitors.

WINNECKE WINS THIRD TERM, BUT DEMS TAKE COUNCIL SEATS: Voters gave Republican Mayor Lloyd Winnecke a singular victory Tuesday, re-electing him by a runaway margin over two little-known challengers but rejecting his determined effort to bring a GOP City Council majority with him (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). Democrats actually expanded their current tenuous majority on the council — four Democrats, three Republicans and two independents — to a more commanding 7-2 margin. The stunning setback came despite a considerable investment of campaign cash and services on behalf of GOP City Council candidates by Winnecke and his chief deputy. "But we respect the decisions of the voters," he said. "Had we not done anything on behalf of our slate of candidates, the defeats might have been even worse. We're going to take it philosophically. I'm proud of the campaigns that everyone ran. It is what it is."

SNOW WINS 2ND TERM IN RICHMOND: Dave Snow's time as mayor isn't over yet. Snow won a second term as the leader of city government Tuesday, beating a challenge from Republican Jamie Lopeman and independent Thomas Owens. The incumbent received 49.5 percent of the vote, with Lopeman getting 44.5 percent and Owens 6. The final margin was 192 votes (Truitt, Richmond Palladium-Item). "Once again this is a humbling experience. You know in my first campaign I asked the people of my hometown to have the faith in me to lead this city. We've set out on many projects and done a lot of work, and today is an affirmation of that work that's been done. It's just tremendously humbling," Snow said. "I just want to thank my entire city team. I work with some of the most tremendous people that I could imagine working with. And really, truly thank the voters for coming out today and casting their vote with confidence."

COOK PREVAILS IN WESTFIELD: Westfield Mayor Andy Cook (R), the only mayor in Hamilton County to face a general election challenge, defeated Libertarian Donald Rainwater with 61% of the vote.

WYATT WINS 2ND TERM IN BOONVILLE: Incumbent Charlie Wyatt had little trouble retaining the Boonville mayor's office Tuesday night, winning nearly 66 percent of the vote to beat out Republican challenger Leah Barnett (Evansville Courier & Press). It will be Wyatt's second term as mayor. Wyatt, a Democrat and retired Alcoa steelworker, succeeded longtime mayor Pam Hendrickson in 2016. Hendrickson had held the office for 20 years prior.

MAYOR EVANS RETURNS IN DELPHI: The votes are tallied and the people of Carroll County have re-elected Shane Evans as mayor. Evans, who ran again as an Independent, was elected into his first term as mayor in 2015 and took office on January 1st, 2016 (WLFI-TV). He won over challenger Dale Seward by 169 votes. He said serving as mayor is all about giving back to those who gave to him. "It's an honor to serve the City of Delphi, the people in this community that mean so much to me," he said. "We're excited with the turn out. We're happy to get, I think, 701 votes in the City of Delphi and we're thrilled for what we're going to do for the next four years."

DEMOCRAT GROSS WINS IN MONTICELLO: Democratic candidate, Cathy Gross takes the win for Monticello mayor. She won over republican candidate Matthew McKean (WLFI-TV). Gross has lived in Monticello for 60 years. Born and raised, she is a graduate of Twin Lakes High School. Gross is currently the ADA Coordinator for the City of Monticello. "It has been my life's work to try to help everyone,” said Gross. “No matter socioeconomic status, cultural differences. It's not something new. Service is not new to me."

MAYOR DENNIS DEFEATS INDEPENDENT IN WEST LAFAYETTE: Republican Mayor John Dennis remains at the helm in West Lafayette as he beat Independent challenger Zachary Baiel in the 2019 local election (WLFI-TV). Dennis received 2274 and Baiel 724. Dennis will continue his role as mayor of West Lafayette as his fourth term begins January 1st 2020. He becomes the second-longest tenured mayor behind the late Sonya Margerum.

MURPHY FORGES NARROW WIN IN VALPO: City Councilman Matt Murphy got a new office in city hall – the mayor’s (NWI Times). Voters narrowly chose Murphy, a Republican and the lifelong Valparaiso resident, over businessman and Democrat Bill Durnell in Tuesday’s mayoral election. Murphy will succeed Mayor Jon Costas, who is stepping down after 16 years in office. The thin margin of victory kept several hundred supporters, who gathered at Parea Restaurant on the courthouse square, in suspense for a few hours after the polls closed. But it was announced to the cheering crowd shortly before 9 p.m. that Durnell conceded the race and keeps the mayor’s office in GOP hands for another four years.

WRIGHT TAKES PRINCETON MAYORAL RACE: Republican Princeton Common Councilman Greg Wright is the new mayor-elect of Princeton and fellow Republican and Oakland City Fire Chief James Deffendall will move from the firehouse to City Hall in Oakland City (Princeton Daily Clarion). It's a repeat of an old headline in The Daily Clarion of the 1960s, with new faces in 2019. Tuesday's municipal elections gave Wright a 1074-714 win over Democratic candidate Dan Beard, while Deffendall's win over former Democratic Oakland City Mayor Gary Bise came at a 341-116 margin. Wright was relieved after election results rolled in Tuesday night. "I feel like it was a bunch of work and it paid off," he said. "I want to thank of course God for the opportunity, my wife Megan for backing me and putting up with my crazy ideas and I want to thank Dan Beard of course for running a really clean and positive campaign." Wright said he and Beard, his Democratic opponent for mayor, both agreed Princeton would be better off no matter who won.

LONGEST SERVING MAYOR GRAHAM LOSES IN SCOTTSBURG: Indiana's longest-serving mayor, Republican Bill Graham, lost his bid for a ninth term as mayor of Scottsburg to Democrat Terry Amick. He was one of 17 mayors defeated for reelection, joining three who lost in the primary (WIBC). Independents peeled off one mayoral seat from each party, with Richard Strick winning in Huntington and Bill Rock in Gas City. They'll join reelected independent mayors Shane Evans in Delphi and Alan Weiss in Greendale. Independents came close to upsets in two other cities. Independents' total of four mayor's seats is a decline of one. Republicans had a net gain of six, while Democrats lost seven. A total of 29 city halls changed parties, including Mitchell, where Mayor J.D. England, elected as an independent in 2015, won reelection as a Republican.

MUELLER CONTINUES BUTTIGIEG LEGACY IN SOUTH BEND: James Mueller, who returned home from Washington in 2015 to serve as chief of staff for his high school classmate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, will now take over from his friend as the city’s next chief executive (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Mueller, 37, defeated Republican Sean Haas, a government teacher at LaVille High School, in Tuesday’s election. Mueller held a commanding lead, with nearly 65% of the votes, with most of the ballots counted. Mueller will take office as South Bend’s new mayor in January. “The progress over the last eight years in our city is undeniable,” he told supporters celebrating at Corby’s Irish Pub Tuesday night. “Yet we still have a lot more work to do to take our growth to the next level and make sure everyone can share in our progress.” Some residents and observers saw the race as a referendum on Buttigieg, who announced late last year that he wouldn’t seek a third term and planned to explore a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Mueller touted the achievements of the Buttigieg era, campaigning on a slogan to “Keep South Bend Moving Forward.”

COURTNEY WINS FULL TERM IN MADISON: Madison Mayor Bob Courtney will technically be the city’s interim leader through Dec. 31 but make no mistake about it, Courtney has already gone to work in the office he will now hold for the next four years thanks to a Republican rout in Tuesday’s general election (Madison Courier). Courtney defeated Democratic challenger Julie Berry 2,284 to 1,488 to lead a sweep of all but one elected office in the city. Only incumbent Democratic Councilmember At-Large Daniel C. Dattilo avoided the GOP landslide by out-polling two Republicans and fellow Democratic incumbent David Alcorn to hang onto one of the seven council seats.

LEY REPLACES YODER IN AUBURN:  Republican Mike Ley won election as Auburn’s next mayor Tuesday, capturing 56% of the votes to outpace Democrat Sarah Payne (KPC News). In the other only other contested race for city office, Republican Wayne Madden won re-election to the District 1 seat on the Auburn Common Council. Madden received 58% of the votes to hold off Democratic challenger Nora Schwartz. Ley, 62, will take office Jan. 1, replacing Norm Yoder, who is retiring after 20 years in the mayor’s chair.

LAMB PREVAILS IN SULLIVAN: Sullivan Democrat Mayor Clint Lamb defeated Republican Josh Smith 79-21% (Howey Politics Indiana).

CARROLL WINS IN LAKE STATION: Bill Carroll believes Lake Station has a brighter future ahead, and he will be heavily involved in moving the city in that direction (NWI Times). Unofficial results show Carroll, a Democrat, easily defeated Republican Cynthia Robbins in Tuesday’s mayoral race. Carroll was surrounded by other Democrats and supporters as he watched results posted in City Hall. Cheers and applause filled the community room as the vote totals grew larger.

MAYOR MOLLAUN RETURNS IN LAWRENCEBURG: Lawrenceburg Republican Mayor Kelly Mollaun was reelected with 54 percent of the vote. Democrat Aaron Cook followed with 39 percent and Independent Dylan Liddle received seven percent of the vote (Eagle Country Online). "This goes to show you that the people of Lawrenceburg base their choices on action and not by words. All the negativity that was coming out, the people spoke tonight. I feel very fortunate, I feel very honored to get a second term. I look forward to working with the council, the new council. I want to congratulation Aaron Cook and Dylan Liddle as well for running their races. I couldn't be happier."

DRURY WINS IN AURORA: In Aurora, Republican Mark Drury defeated Melvin Kramer Jr., to become the new Mayor. Drury got 56 percent of the vote (Eagle Country Online).

FIRST DEMOCRATS WIN CARMEL, FISHERS COUNCIL RACES: A Democrat will serve on the city council for the first time in Carmel’s history (Carmel Current). Democrat Miles Nelson defeated Republican Debra Minott to win the West District in the Nov. 5 general election. With all precincts reporting but results not certified, Nelson received 56.04 percent of the vote to Minott’s 43.96 percent. The race did not have an incumbent, as redistricting added a city council district. Republican incumbents solidly won in the other three contested city council races. The Rails Restaurant was the scene of a raucous election night party Tuesday as supporters of Democrat Jocelyn Vare gathered to celebrate an historic electoral victory in her campaign for Fishers City Council.  She will assume her at-large council seat in January. The final results showed Ms. Vare garnering 25.49% of the vote, besting Republican City Council President Rich Block, who received 22.61% of the votes cast.  Cecilia Coble and Todd Zimmerman both easily won re-election to at-large council seats.  There were four candidates for at-large Fishers council seats, with the top three elected to four-year terms.

MERRITT APOLOGIZES TO HOGSETT: Monday night's third and final Indianapolis mayoral debate hosted by FOX 59 News included a discussion on crime, roads, economic development, and an apology (WIBC). At the third and final Indianapolis Mayoral debate, Republican Jim Merritt publicly apologized to Democratic incumbent Joe Hogsett over a campaign website that claimed Hogsett’s wages had been garnished in 2011 for failing to pay child support. At the debate hosted by Fox 59 and the Indianapolis Westside Chamber of Commerce, Merritt told Hogsett he was sorry about the allegations made in the campaign website and later told the media he took full responsibility. The Indy Star has reported the claim was not true and the website was taken down. Merritt told reporters that as the candidate, he is responsible for the actions of his campaign and if elected Mayor he expects the voters to hold him accountable as well.

VIGO COUNTY CASINO REFERENDUM PASSES WITH 60%: Vigo County voters passed a referendum Tuesday that will allow for the construction of western Indiana’s first casino in Terre Haute (Atkinson, Indiana Public Media). The referendum passed with over 60 percent of voters saying yes. Two casino companies have expressed interest in the project, with one touting a project of at least $100 million that would have 300 to 400 workers. They have until Dec. 1 to submit proposals to the Indiana Gaming Commission, which would select an operator for the license. The vote comes amid mixed reception among Vigo County residents. Sara Smith, Treasurer of the The Advance West Central Indiana Political Action Committee, says the casino would create 150 to 200 new construction jobs and 400 to 600 permanent casino jobs.

4 OF 10 SCHOOL REFERENDUMS LOSE: Four of the 10 school districts with measures on the ballot failed to receive voter approval for school funding tax increases Tuesday night (Indiana Public Media). Two districts, Danville Community School Corporation and Huntington County Community Schools, proposed both operations and construction measures. Washington and Center Grove Community schools also failed to win voter approval for their measures. Danville Superintendent Tracey Shafer says now, it’s time to figure out next steps to keep more teachers, repair buildings, and improve busing. “We have a need to replace 17-year-old buses so they’re safe for our children,” Shafer says.

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG LEADS IN PHARMA DONATIONS: Even as Democratic presidential candidates continue to push proposals like Medicare-for-all that scare the health care industry, donors linked to Big Pharma and related sectors continue to pour money into their coffers (Fox News). Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., leads his rivals with $237,934 in campaign contributions from individuals linked to the pharmaceuticals and health products industries, according to The Center for Responsive Politics. The amount is just a fraction compared to his $19.1 million third-quarter campaign haul. Buttigieg is followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders with $180,454 and former Vice President Joe Biden with $149,728. President Trump's campaign weighed in with $122,592, although adding in pharmaceutical-health products industry-related donors' contributions to outside groups supporting him bumps the president up to number one.

BUTTIGIEG GETS McKINSEY DONATIONS: Pete Buttigieg has recently distanced himself from the consulting powerhouse that represents the main private-sector job on his résumé, but he is the biggest beneficiary in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary of donations from McKinsey & Co. employees (Wall Street Journal). Through the third quarter of 2019, Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign received roughly $55,000 from about 165 employees of McKinsey and its related organizations, a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Election Commission data shows.

HARRIS, CASTRO CUTTING STAFF: Another candidate in the 2020 presidential race is cutting staff. President Obama's former housing secretary, Julián Castro, is eliminating his field offices in two states — New Hampshire and South Carolina. The decision, which was first reported by Politico on Monday and confirmed by CBS News, follows a similar one by Senator Kamala Harris last week (CBS News). Harris is sending all of her staffers in California, Nevada and New Hampshire to Iowa. Although New Hampshire hosts the first primary of the 2020 election cycle, both Castro and Harris are instead focusing their resources on Iowa, where the first voting contest in the nation will be taking place a week earlier.


YOUNG WRITES ON PENSION CRISIS: U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) today sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee members, including Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), to encourage their continued efforts to resolve to the looming multiemployer pension crisis and restore financial security to Hoosiers (Howey Politics Indiana). The Central States Pension Fund is the largest multiemployer plan headed toward insolvency, and there are over 22,000 plan participants in Indiana. If no action is taken in the next five years, these retirees will see benefits cut by 90-95 percent. “My grandfather was a World War II veteran and my family benefited from his UAW pension. Many Hoosiers spend their lives working hard at strenuous and demanding jobs knowing that their retirement years will be financially supported by their pension,” said Senator Young in the letter. “I stand ready to help you and your staff work with all stakeholders to finally and immediately end longstanding uncertainty about the promised retirement benefits of these hardworking Hoosiers and their families.”

CONGRESS SUMMONS MULVANEY TO TESTIFY: House impeachment investigators on Tuesday called on Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s acting chief of staff, to testify this week in their inquiry into President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine, closing in on the upper echelons of Mr. Trump’s staff as they near the end of their fact-finding phase (New York Times). Mr. Mulvaney has emerged as a central figure in House Democrats’ investigation because of his proximity to the president as well as his own actions. He undercut Mr. Trump’s repeated denials of a quid pro quo when he admitted at a news conference weeks ago that the White House withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to further the president’s political interests. “I have news for everybody: Get over it,” he told reporters at the time. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.” He backtracked hours later and tried to deny that he had ever confirmed such an arrangement.


STATEHOUSE: HILL FILES AMICUS BRIEF - Attorney General Curtis Hill on Monday filed an amicus brief in a federal district court supporting a lawsuit by the North American Meat Institute against the State of California, whose voters last year enacted a statute purporting to impose agricultural regulations on Indiana and every other U.S. state. Eight other states signed onto Indiana’s brief (Howey Politics Indiana). California’s Proposition 12 contains two operative provisions. The first provision exercises California’s authority over farming in the state by regulating the manner in which California’s own farmers may confine three types of livestock: 1) calves raised for veal, 2) breeding pigs and 3) egg-laying hens. A second provision, however, unconstitutionally purports to extend California’s animal-confinement regulations to every farmer in the United States. It prohibits the sale in California of any veal, pork or eggs produced from animals not raised in accordance with the state’s animal-confinement regulations, regardless of where those animals were raised.

HEALTH: PRETERM BIRTHS INCREASE - An annual report card finds more babies are being born prematurely in Indiana.  This year’s analysis digs deeper into the relationship between this factor and infant and maternal mortality (Sheridan, Indiana Public Media). Preterm birth is the largest contributor to infant deaths in the U.S. According to the report from the March of Dimes, rates in Indiana are up to 10.2 percent.  That gives the state a grade of C-, slightly lower than the national average. President and CEO of March of Dimes Stacey Stewart says the average cost of a preterm birth is $63,000. "So it’s not as if there are not costs being born every time we fail to make sure women and babies have adequate and affordable access to coverage," says Stewart. In Indiana, African-American women are 41 percent more likely to have a preterm birth. 

GAMING: TRUMP CASINO BOAT FOR SALE - If Donald Trump ever decides he wants to revive the tradition of a presidential yacht, he now can acquire a yuuuge boat he already knows well — on the cheap (Carden, NWI Times). Spectacle Entertainment, owner of Gary's Majestic Star casinos, has put up for sale its two gaming boats, including the former Trump Princess, ahead of next year's planned relocation and rebranding as the Hard Rock Casino Gary. The boats are listed for sale at $6 million each through Storti Marine Services, a Florida-based boat brokerage firm.

IDEM: U.S. STEEL HAS 3RD SPILL - U.S. Steel has reopened most of the Midwest Plant as of Tuesday, Nov. 5. Spokesperson Amanda Malkowski says the facility’s tin line is still closed, but the closure isn’t related to the spill (Indiana Public Media). Last week, U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility had its third spill in as many months into Lake Michigan waterways. In a news release, U.S. Steel says its Midwest Plant in Portage was slightly over its limit for hexavalent chromium. Two years ago, it discharged 300 pounds of that same cancer-causing chemical into the Burns Waterway. It's also had two oil leaks this year — on in August and one in September.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP NEARS JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT MILESTONE - President Trump is on his way to reaching a significant mark in his presidency, as his latest nominees for federal appeals courts go through the confirmation process (Fox News). With several potential appeals judges awaiting confirmation, Trump's nominees could soon make up more than a quarter of those serving on the appellate bench. Out of 179 Circuit Court positions, 43 are occupied by Trump picks, with four current vacancies and another five spots opening up due to upcoming retirements. “This is an exciting milestone for the president,” Judicial Crisis Network policy director Carrie Severino told Fox News.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE STRIPPING AWAY - President Donald Trump's impeachment defense is being stripped away plank by plank by some of the administration officials caught up in his scheme to pressure Ukraine for political favors (CNN). A dramatic reversal by Republican donor turned diplomat Gordon Sondland, who now says that a quid pro quo was needed from Kiev to free up military aid, rocked Washington Tuesday and undercut GOP strategy. In testimony released by impeachment investigators, the US ambassador to the European Union also testified that he assumed it would be "illegal" for Trump's fixer and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to push Ukraine to investigate the President's political opponents. Sondland's adjusted testimony did much to dismantle the President's core and repeated defense: that he did not hold up aid to Kiev to force it to open a probe into Joe Biden and that any suggestion to the contrary is simply the "crazed" delusion of "Never Trumpers."

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE AIDE TO TESTIFY - A senior adviser to Vice President Mike Pence is likely to comply with a request to testify on Thursday in front of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry, multiple sources say (CNN). Jennifer Williams would be the first person on Pence's national security team to appear and has knowledge of how much the vice president knew about the efforts by President Donald Trump and those around him to push Ukraine to launch investigations into Joe Biden and his son, as well as 2016 election interference, according to a source familiar with her thinking. Williams, along with other senior administration and national security officials, was listening to the phone call on July 25 in which Trump asked for a "favor" of his newly-elected Ukrainian counterpart, President Volodymyr Zelensky, a White House source says.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will give a speech on federal judicial confirmation milestones at 3 p.m. in the East Room. Trump will leave the White House at 4:10 p.m. en route to Monroe, La., where he will deliver remarks at a campaign rally at 7 p.m. Central time at the Monroe Civic Center. Afterward, he will return to Washington.

FCC: T-MOBILE/SPRINT MERGER APPROVED - The Federal Communications Commission formally approved T-Mobile US Inc.’s merger with smaller rival Sprint Corp., in a 3-2 vote split among party lines (Wall Street Journal). The top telecommunications regulator’s two Democratic members, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks, opposed the deal, while the three Republican members including Chairman Ajit Pai voted to approve it. Ms. Rosenworcel and Mr. Starks said the deal would harm competition and consumers.


SOUTH BEND: BUTTIGIEG TO HOST RIBBON CUTTING - South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will tomorrow join city leaders and regional partners for the grand opening of South Bend’s Technology Resource Center in Ignition Park. The ribbon cutting will feature a panel of local tech leaders followed by remarks from Mayor Buttigieg (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). The TRC serves as a partnership between the city’s Department of Innovation & Technology, South Bend Code School and the Bloomberg-funded Commuters Trust. The Redevelopment Commission approved $2.7 million to fund the initial build out of the TRC in 2017. This year, project is being supported by funding from the Lilly Endowment as part of the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation Network. “The Technology Resource Center is an invitation for residents, national partners, and local institutions to learn and problem solve with the city.” said Mayor Buttigieg. “From smart sewers to lifelong learning applications, the city has long benefited from co-building innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges. We look forward to seeing what exciting projects arise at this collaboration hub.”

OXFORD: COUNCIL PONDERS SNAKE REGULATIONS FOLLOWING DEATH - An Indiana town is considering restrictions on certain snakes after a woman was strangled by an 8-foot-long python (AP). “I think it’s almost unanimous in town that people want an ordinance against restrictive snakes,” Oxford Town Council President Randy Jones said Monday during the first meeting since the death last week of Laura Hurst. The 36-year-old woman was found on the floor of a snake-filled home in Oxford with a python wrapped loosely around her neck. Hurst lived 20 miles away but regularly visited the house where she owned 20 of the approximately 140 snakes. None are venomous. The home is owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson, who is a snake breeder and lives next door. Munson hasn’t commented and didn’t attend the council meeting.