BRAUN SURGES TO UPSET OVER SEN. DONNELLY: Indiana Republicans waited six years for the moment they that came on election night: Joe Donnelly's unlikely tenure as the Democratic Senator from the Hoosier State ended with an emphatic victory by his opponent Mike Braun (Howey and Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). Speaking in the JW Marriott's White River Ballroom, before a crowd of jubilant supporters, Senator-elect Mike Braun came to the stage to chants of "Mike! Mike! Mike!" Braun started his speech with the same words he started his primary victory speech with: "What a journey this has been." Beside the smiling pair of Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, Braun began by talking about how he had come to know Hoosiers across the state and promised them "I will not let you down." With 89% of precincts reporting, he held a 53-43% lead over Donnelly with Libertarian Lucy Brenton at 4%. Braun was leading by 189,273 votes. Braun credited President Trump’s willingness to campaign for him four times. “It was a huge impact,” Braun said. “Hoosiers like the fact that there’s a new agenda in D.C.” Braun’s victory going away capped a stunning election in Vice President Pence’s home state. Braun told electrified Republicans, “I haven’t stayed in a motel or hotel but only four or five times. People put me up. That’s the way a campaign should be. I will not let you down, I promise you.”  Braun said, “Sen. Donnelly called me about 15 minutes ago. Yep. Like any competition, you fight hard, you want to win. It’s gotten way too nasty on both sides. It should be about ideas, about what you bring to the table. Both sides and their families have had to carry that burden and weight. “What we need to do is to take to Washington what works in the real world. What works in Jasper, Indiana, or Warsaw, Indiana,” Braun said, adding that he wanted to bring people to “fix things in a dysfunctional system. That’s my goal.” Braun described four limo rides with President Trump. “Trump unplugged on four rides,” Braun said with wonderment as the crowd hooted. “He asked, ‘Do you think we ought to bring Bobby Knight in your campaign?’ Promises made, promises kept.” And the crowd went wild. Last Friday, Braun found himself on stage with Trump, Pence and Coach Knight for the Southport rally.

SEN. DONNELLY CONCEDES: U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly addressed somber Democrats around 9:25 p.m., telling supporters that he “had the unbelievable opportunity to serve the people” (Howey Politics Indiana). He applauded his staff, told them he would always be there for them, and added, “I’ve been filled up so much by you. We love this country so much. We need to make sure we bring this country together rather than divide it. We’re all in the same boat together. We’re all American.” Donnelly opposed the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after allegations of sexual misconduct while in high school. Donnelly’s decision was a turning point in this race as it energized previously lethargic Republicans. Their growing voter intensity resulted in a surge of early voting and long lines today.

INDEMS HOLD ONLY 2 FEDERAL SEATS: With Sen. Joe Donnelly’s defeat, only Democrat U.S. Reps. Pete Visclosky and Andre Carson will hold federal seats, and the party failed to make serious inroads into Republican super majorities in the General Assembly (Howey Politics Indiana). It was swept in the Statehouse constitutional races. Republicans carried seven out of nine congressional districts, including a victory in the 6th CD by Greg Pence, brother of the vice president. He was joined by 4th CD Republican Jim Baird after his upset primary victory over Braun’s brother.

FORD DEFEATING DELPH; DEMS GAIN 2 HOUSE SEATS; 1 SENATE: In an election where the Indiana Democratic Party had to make serious inroads into Republican General Assembly super majorities to regain relevance, beyond J. D. Ford’s defeat of State Sen. Mike Delph, the effort came up short, winning just two House seats and 1 in the Senate (Howey Politics Indiana). There are incomplete results from HD7 where Republican Troy Dillon had a 229-vote lead over State Rep. Joe Taylor, while Rep. Ed Soliday’s race against Democrat Frank Szczepanski is reporting no results, though the NWI Times’ headline suggests Soliday is leading. In SD29, With 94% reporting, Ford had a more than a 3,000 vote lead, ahead 53-47%. It was a rematch from their 2014 race and gave Democrats a chance to claim a 10th seat. In the Indiana House, Democrats appear to have picked up at least two seats, with Chris Chyung defeated State Rep. Hal Slager by 86 votes, while Lisa Beck is leading Rep. Juli Olthoff. Democrat Chris Campbell had a 57-43% victory over State Rep. Sally Siegrist. Democrats held on to the open HD71, where Dr. Rita Fleming defeated Matt Owen. In another off-the-radar close call, Democrat State Rep. Melanie Wright had 339-vote victory over Republican Ben Fisher.  State Rep. Martin Carbaugh staved off a challenge from Rep. Kyle Miller, winning 54-46%.

DEMOCRATS RETAKE U.S. HOUSE: Democrats are projected to retake control of the House of Representatives, slicing through Republican-held suburbs where President Donald Trump has proven toxic (Politico). Democrats have gained at least 26 seats, needing 23 to retake control. A number of other seats are undecided, but Democrats are leading. From Florida to Texas to Illinois, Republican incumbents who survived reelection in 2016 even as Trump lost their districts fell decisively to Democratic challengers who linked them to the president and attacked their votes on health care and taxes last year, delivering a check-and-balance message to the president. The first flip of the night came in Northern Virginia, where Democrat Jennifer Wexton, a state senator, beat Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock — who won reelection in 2016 even as Trump lost badly in the district. The same trend saw Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen, Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman all lose in districts that Clinton carried, despite seeing off Democratic challenges before.

WALORSKI CRUISES TO 4TH TERM: Jackie Walorski won another two years in Congress Tuesday, easily defeating Democratic challenger Mel Hall in the race to represent Indiana’s 2nd District (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The win gave Walorski, a Republican first elected in November 2012, her fourth term representing the district, which stretches from LaPorte east to Elkhart, and from the Michigan state line south to near Kokomo. With most precincts reporting, she held 57 percent of the vote to Hall’s 43 percent. Hall was able to win St. Joseph County, capturing about 55 percent of the votes there, but Walorski carried every other county in the district. “Thank you so much 2nd District!” Walorski yelled from the podium, with her mother, Martha, on her right and husband, Dean, on her left. “Hoosiers knew, and know, that we’ve been all about fighting for Hoosiers. Hoosier families, workers, small business, farmers and veterans, I’m humbled and grateful beyond words tonight that 2nd District Hoosiers have placed their trust in me again.” The mood was somber two blocks away at the Aloft hotel, where Hall held his watch party. Hall issued a written statement after conceding. “Even though we came up short tonight, I’m proud of the campaign we ran,” Hall said in the statement. “Many folks across the district are eager for a representative who will protect their health care, grow good-paying jobs, and clean up the partisan mess in Congress. While that will not be me in the coming term, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and appetite for change I saw across all 10 counties of the district.”

HOLLINGSWORTH WINS 2ND TERM: Incumbent Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth is projected to hold onto his seat in the race against Democrat Liz Watson in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District (Indiana Public Media). A press release from Hollingsworth's campaign says he spoke with roughly 30,000 Hoosiers over the phone ahead of the election. He says those phone calls were to find out what Hoosiers cared about. “What I continue to hear from Hoosiers is they want to hear from me directly," Hollingsworth says. "They wanted to hear me talk about the issues that matter most to them, but more importantly, for me to listen to them and make sure that I’m carrying their message back to Washington.” Hollingsworth also says he sees Republican Mike Braun’s win in Indiana’s contentious race for Senate as a sign of Hoosiers’ support for Trump. He says he’s excited to work with Braun moving forward. “What they recognize is they want a change in Washington,” Hollingsworth says. “And they want a partner that will work with Trump in order to get more of the change they’ve seen in the past year.”

AMERICA CLEAVES INTO POISONOUS CAMPS: The midterms produced a divided Congress that's emblematic of a split America, drifting further apart and pointing to poisonous years ahead (Allen, Axios). The Democratic strategy of targeting women, minorities and the young was vindicated with the new House majority. We saw record liberal turnout in many suburbs. The Republican strategy of targeting men, whites and rural voters was vindicated with the larger Senate majority. We saw record conservative turnout in rural Trump country. The net result: Two parties with two wildly different bases and philosophies are pulling farther and farther apart — and are certain to double down on divisiveness heading into 2020. Fox News' Karl Rove, the former George W. Bush architect, said: "Let’s be clear. ... Both parties are broken." A GOP lobbyist emailed:  "Poisonous gridlock. Hemlock?"

THE DEATH OF POLLING: Shades of 2016: The blue wave was a lot less ferocious and unanimous than much of the polling, forecasts and commentary had led Americans to expect (Axios). It's a reminder that, even after all the post-2016 angst, all the supposed experts still don't fully understand the country. Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me in a phone interview that there’s a "hidden Trump" vote" of 2% or 3% that refuses to respond to pollsters: "They see it as helping the elite control them." Former Obama strategist David Axelrod said on CNN: "I think this is going to prompt a new round of soul-searching about whether and how you can poll accurately ... A lot of these races that were blowouts ... polled as tight."

MICHIGAN PASSES RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA: With a last minute infusion of cash and support that was baked into Proposal 1 from the start, voters decided to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use Tuesday by a comfortable 56-44 percent margin, becoming the first state in the Midwest to free the weed (Detroit Free Press). But voters shouldn’t conclude that marijuana will be readily available or an instant presence on the streets of cities across the state. Ten days after the election results are certified, which should be by early December. But marijuana won’t be commercially available for sale until probably early 2020, in part because the state must still put regulations in place and issue licenses for recreational sales. “It’s not going to be an earth-shattering change,” said Jeffrey Hank, the East Lansing attorney who was one of the leaders of the effort to get the legalization question on the ballot. But after certification, “adults will no longer be arrested for simple possession and use of marijuana.”

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: While Democrats can be buoyed nationally by the party’s retake of the U.S. House, in Indiana, the party has been wiped out. Sen. Donnelly is defeated, leaving the party no titular head, and the party’s gains in the GOP super majority General Assembly appear to have come up short, with several House districts still out. Look for our full analysis in the weekly Howey Politics Indiana around 9 a.m. Thursday.  - Brian A. Howey

General Assembly

DEMOCRATS COME UP SHORT IN HOUSE, SENATE: Other Democratic efforts came up short (Howey Politics Indiana). Sen. Jim Merritt defeated Democrat Derek Camp 55-45%. In another targeted race, State Sen. Jon Ford was easily turning back Democrat Chris Gambill, 56-44% with 85% reporting. Sen. Ron Grooms easily fended off Democrat Anna Murray 57-43% with 56% reporting. In the open SD26, Madison County Councilman Mike Gaskill was defeating Anderson Fire Chief Dave Cravens, 57-39% with 90% reporting. In another open seat, Republican Linda Rogers downed Democrat Ed Liptrap 64-36%. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane defeated Republican Zaki Ali 52-44%. In other House races, Rep. Dale Devon was turning back a challenge from Dr. Donald Westerhausen, 54-46% with 83% of precincts reporting. State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer was leading John Barnes 55-45% with 89% reporting. Democrat Tonya Pfaff won an open seat in HD43, defeating Republican Darrell Felling. Republican Ryan Lauer won the open HD59, defeating Dale Nowlin 57-41%. Both House leaders were easily reelected. Speaker Brian Bosma was leading Democrat Poonam Gill 59-41% with 93% of precincts in. Democrat Minority Leader Terry Goodin also won easily.

CHYUNG UPSETS REP. SLAGER: With 100% of precincts reporting, Democrat Chris Chyung defeated State Rep, Hal Slager by 86 votes, 12,473 to 12,387 (Howey Politics Indiana).

BECK HAS LEAD OVER REP. OLTHOFF:  The contest between state Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point, and Democrat Lisa Beck to represent Indiana House District 19 was too close to call (NWI Times). With 94% reporting, Beck had a 51-49% lead over Olthoff, or by 504 votes. She had a lead of Beck appeared to have a slight lead with less than half the vote counted in Lake County. But voting issues in Porter County delayed the results from several key precincts in the district that have proven decisive in past elections.

REP. SOLIDAY RACE HASN’T BEEN CALLED:  There were not enough votes counted in Porter County at press time to call a winner in the Indiana House District 4 race between State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, and opponent Democrat Frank Szczepanski (NWI Times). Soliday was seeking a seventh two-year term to represent central Porter County in the Indiana House. It's not yet clear whether the veteran lawmaker faced any voter backlash for sponsoring last year's road funding legislation that hiked fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for state and local transportation infrastructure improvements. If Soliday wins, he would remain chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, ensuring that Northwest Indiana's roads, bridges and rails aren't overlooked at the Statehouse.

FLEMING KEEPS HD71 IN DEM COLUMN: A political newcomer and longtime obstetrician beat a Jeffersonville city councilman in the race for Indiana House District 71 (Depompei, News&Tribune). Democrat Rita Fleming garnered 13,214 votes (or 55.6 percent) over Republican Matt Owen's 10,010 (42.4 percent). Owen is a sitting Jeffersonville councilman who has been in that office since 2012. "I am surprised," Fleming said Tuesday night. "But I will tell you I worked really hard and I truly wanted to not just work hard administratively, but I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to talk face to face, I wanted to shake their hand, and I think that makes a difference." Clark County Democrat Party Chair Katie Miller said Fleming was "hands down" the best candidate for District 71, which represents parts of Clark County including Clarksville, Jeffersonville and Charlestown. "That was a huge get for the party to have her run for this seat, so we're very thankful to have and present good, quality candidates on the ballot," Miller said. Owen said during the Republican watch party at Kye's that he wouldn't change anything about how he ran his campaign. "We ran our heart out. I wore my shoes out," he said.

CAMPBELL DEFEATS REP. SIEGRIST: Chris Campbell, a Democrat who waited until the summer to make a run for the District 26 seat in the Indiana House, beat state Rep. Sally Siegrist, a first-term incumbent, in a race state Democrats said they needed to help chip away at a Republican supermajority at the Statehouse (Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier). With the count nearly complete at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Campbell had 56 percent of the vote. Siegrist came to the County Office Building to concede. The district includes much of West Lafayette, along with portions of southern Lafayette. In her first two-year term, Siegrist found a place on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and carried bills that were part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s legislative agenda. She campaigned on what she called “the Tippecanoe way,” which was shorthand for the sense of collaboration in Greater Lafayette among community leaders more interested in bringing jobs and development than they are in party labels. Democrats waited until June, more than a month after the May primary, to slate Campbell, an audiologist from West Lafayette. But as Campbell campaigned heavily on promises to support public schools, state Democrats targeted Siegrist as a representative who had stopped communicating with her constituents – including blocking some on her social media accounts – and putting party loyalty over everything else. The campaigns had spent more than a combined $230,000 on the campaign as of Oct. 12, the most recent campaign finance filing deadline. Since then, the campaigns combined to field another $81,000, much of which filtered into heavy doses of local TV ads.

SEN. FORD DEFEATS GAMBILL: Republican Jon Ford of Terre Haute won a second term in the Indiana Senate on Tuesday with a victory over Democratic challenger Chris Gambill, a Terre Haute attorney (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). With most votes counted at 10 p.m., Ford had 21,371 to 16,520 for Gambill, a split of 56.4 percent to 43.6 percent. The 38th Indiana Senate district comprises all of Vigo and roughly the northern half of Clay County. Ford carried both counties. “It’s exciting to know that my constituents want to give me a second term to continue the work that I’ve been doing and I look forward to getting busy,” Ford said. “We put together a solid plan [for the campaign],” he said. “We stuck to that plan and executed it. I think people wanted me to continue to do the work I’ve been doing for the Wabash Valley and it came through.” After calling Ford to congratulate him on his win, Gambill noted it was a rough day for his party statewide. “It doesn’t look like Democrats are yet welcome members of the legislative party,” he said. “I can’t think of a thing that we could have done different or alternatively.”

LANANE FENDS OFF ALI: Incumbent Tim Lanane turned back a strong challenge from first-time Republican candidate Zaki Ali (Anderson Herald-Bulletin). Lanane won re-election in Senate District 25 against Ali and Libertarian candidate Rob Jozwiak. The Anderson Democrat has served since 2012 as the minority leader in the Indiana Senate and has campaigned on the need for redistricting reform and the need to pass a hate crimes law. Ali based his campaign on the notion it was a time for a change in the district, which he said lags behind when it comes to economic development and infrastructure improvements. Jozwiak wanted to reform the state’s criminal code to make it simpler and easier for the public to understand. Ali spent most of Election Day in Anderson’s 4th Ward courting the African-American vote in the city. Lanane received 50 percent of the vote in Madison County and won districtwide by more than 3,000 votes. “It was a hard-fought campaign,” Lanane said. “Zaki (Ali) put in a great effort. It was definitely a tough race.” Lanane said his victory was gratifying in light of the fact that most Democratic Party candidates in Madison County lost on Tuesday. “That was a surprise to me,” he said. “We had local candidates that I thought could win. The Republican Party got their base out.”

GASKILL DEFEATS CRAVENS: It was expected to be a close contest to replace Republican Doug Eckerty in state Senate District 26 but Mike Gaskill firmly kept the seat in the GOP column (Anderson Herald-Bulletin). Gaskill, a current member of the Madison County Council, turned back a challenge by Democrat Dave Cravens and Libertarian Greg Noland by comfortable margins in Madison, Delaware and Henry counties. Cravens, the current chief of the Anderson Fire Department, has been campaigning for the office for two years. Gaskill and Cravens combined spent more than $300,000 on the campaign. From the counting of the first ballots on Tuesday, Gaskill opened a commanding lead over Cravens. Cravens had hoped to stay close to Gaskill in Delaware and Henry counties and have Madison County carry him to victory. Gaskill received 56 percent of the vote in Madison County, compared to 40 percent for Cravens and 4 percent for Noland. "If you want a change, you have to vote for change,” Cravens said after the results were known.

SEN. GROOMS EASILY REELECTED: Ron Grooms will continue representing Indiana Senate District 46 after coming out on top in Tuesday's midterm election (News & Tribune). Grooms, a Republican, received 26,990 votes between Clark and Floyd County, both of which include areas represented by District 46. His opponent, Jeffersonville attorney and political newcomer Anna Murray, came in with 22,544 votes. "I very much look forward to another term in the Indiana State Senate to continue some of the things we worked on," Grooms said by phone Tuesday night. In a previous interview with the News and Tribune, Grooms laid out a 10-point plan of things to accomplish in another term. The News and Tribune was unable to reach Murray after polls closed. She ran on raising the state's minimum wage and repealing right to work, among other issues. Grooms won Floyd County by more than 4,400 votes. Clark County was tighter, where Grooms won by a mere 44 votes. He said part of his campaign strategy was to focus efforts in Floyd County and in areas of Jeffersonville where he's "always strong." "It seems to have worked pretty well, particularly in Floyd where we pretty much dominated that." The Senator said he was also happy with the high voter turnout, saying he was "pleasantly surprised" by the numbers. "It was a good a good way to participate in the process, and obviously I feel good about my win. "I feel like I can now continue and focus on my projects that I want to work on and look forward to four more years."

GARTEN WINS OPEN SD45: In District 46, first-time candidate Republican Chris Garten easily beat political veteran and Democrat John Perkins and Libertarian Charles Johnson (News & Tribune). With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Garten collected 23,626 votes (63.5 percent) to Perkins' 12,405 (33.3 percent), with Johnson tallying 1,197 votes (3.2 percent), to win the district that stretches from the east side of Allison Lane in Clark County east to the Ohio border, and includes Jefferson, Scott and Switzerland counties. "We had a great strategy in place early on and I think we executed it with perfection," said Garten, who owns Signature Countertops and is a Charlestown resident. "The thing that's most humbling about this entire experience is that I believe our campaign inspired voters to come out and support us. That's critical in any election, for any office. As a veteran that's important to me." A Marine who served two deployments in Iraq, Garten, who endured a broken home and child abuse growing up to start a company during the Great Recession of 2008, cited the opioid epidemic, education and economic stability as his top priorities as he heads to the Statehouse. "We've got to focus some time there, some resources, and we've got to execute a strategy, and it's got to be a very acute focus," Garten said of tackling the opioid crisis. We've got to look at local law enforcement and other local legislators and see what's going on and get down to it.

REP. AYLESWORTH LEADING: State Rep. Michael Aylesworth led Democratic challenger Delano Scaife in early voting results Tuesday night for the 11th House District (NWI Times). Aylesworth, a Republican from Hebron, hopes to serve a third term representing constituents in Cedar Lake, Lowell, Schneider and much of rural south Lake and Porter counties in the General Assembly. Aylesworth said he was feeling pretty good about his chances Tuesday night. He led Scaife in Lake County's early and absentee voting about 60 percent to 40 percent. Porter County numbers were not available.  “That's about where I thought I would end up in Lake County,” he said. “I think I'll do a little better in Porter County.” Aylesworth said he expected to be up watching results until midnight.

SEN. ALTING DEFEATS SHIPLEY: Republican State Senator Ron Alting won the State Senate seat for District 22 by 3,995 votes (Lafayette Journal & Courier). Alting, a Lafayette Republican first elected to the Indiana Senate in 1998, faced Lafayette Democrat Sherry Shipley. Although he took the race with 55 percent of the vote, Alting said he felt like this was going to be a contentious race after studying campaigns and local data. "I campaigned with that in mind, and some people thought I was wrong," he said. Shipley, the dean at Ivy Tech Community College, was originally running for the Democratic nomination in Indiana’s 4th District congressional seat. She pulled out of the 4th District race to challenge Alting in December.


GREG PENCE TO JOIN BROTHER IN DC: A familiar face will be joining Vice President Mike Pence in Washington. Hoosier voters elected older brother and Columbus resident Greg Pence the next 6th District representative in the U.S. House (Johannesen, Columbus Republic). Greg Pence, 61, a small-business owner and former Marine seeking elected office for the first time, won the congressional office that his brother held before a successful 2012 gubernatorial bid and joining Donald Trump’s presidential ticket in 2016. He will succeed Republican Luke Messer, who served three terms before running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate this year, losing to Mike Braun in the GOP primary. “Thanks to all of you for this immense pleasure. I’m honored to be your next congressman for Indiana’s 6th District,” Greg Pence told the crowd during his victory speech at the Republican election party, at about 8 p.m. at the Factory 12 Event Loft in downtown Columbus. The Associated Press called the race for Pence at 8:37 p.m. with 65 percent of precincts in and Pence leading with 62 percent of the vote to Democratic opponent Jeannine Lake’s 35 percent. Pence said he had a chance to speak with his brother, the vice president, after winning the election. “He said, ‘Congratulations,’ and he’s excited that I’m coming out to D.C.,” Greg Pence said after his speech. He told the crowd of his brother’s call, too, noting that the vice president was sorry he couldn’t be at the victory party, but that “he had some work to do in Washington.”

BANKS CRUISES TO REELECTION: Incumbent Jim Banks has been re-elected in the race for Congress from Indiana's 3rd Congressional District (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). With 30 percent of the precincts reporting, Banks, a Republican, had 77,055 votes, or 66 percent, to 39,537 votes, or 34 percent, for Democrat Courtney Tritch. In a statement, Tritch said: “I want to thank every single supporter for your vote, and for the countless hours spent making calls and knocking doors to spread the Team Tritch message. While tonight's result was not what we had hoped for, this campaign was nevertheless historic. From the beginning, this campaign has never been about me; it was about building a movement in northeast Indiana for positive, pragmatic change. It is my sincere hope that the progress we created will continue long after tonight as the residents of this district continue to use their voices to champion the rights of all people."

BROOKS WINS 4TH TERM: Republican incumbent Susan Brooks won a fourth term in the U.S. House to represent Indiana's 5th District (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). Brooks turned back Democrat Dee Thornton in the heavily Republican district that includes all of Madison and Hamilton counties and portions of Howard, Tipton and Grant counties. No Democrat has represented even a portion of Madison County since the 1970s when Phil Sharp was elected to the U.S. House. That trend continued Tuesday. Brooks said people around the state like the policies of President Donald Trump and the direction the nation is headed. With most of the precincts reporting in the district, Brooks was receiving 59 percent of the vote. She received 62 percent in Madison County. “The numbers are heading in the right direction,” Brooks said. “I want to commend Dee Thornton and her team. It was a hard-fought race. I worked very hard, not just during the campaign but for six years. I want to be a voice for Hoosiers in the 5th District.”

HOLLINGSWORTH EASILY WINS: U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth won his second term after soundly defeating Liz Watson. Hollingsworth, who was outspent roughly 3 to 1, credits his win to the results achieved in Congress during the last two years and his consistent focus on personal outreach during his first term.  Over the last 10 months, Hollingsworth personally contacted over 30,000 Hoosiers by phone or at their door in addition to thousands of meetings and events.“In 2016, we voted for change in Washington, not more politics as usual.  Today, in staggering numbers, Hoosiers went to the polls to defend that vote because we are finally seeing a government that is working toward a better, brighter future for all Americans.  We have made great strides in the last two years, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I am honored to continue serving as your Representative as we fight for the Washington that we can proud of and that we deserve.”

BUCSHON WINS WITH 75%: William Tanoos went to battle against an incumbent congressman's warchest and other advantages with the modern equivalent of spears and slingshots — shoe leather, digital advertising and word-of-mouth. And now Democrat Tanoos is a former congressional candidate after losing to Republican Congressman Larry Bucshon in the 19-county 8th District by a decisive 65-35 percent margin with 75 percent of the vote counted (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). The 35-year-old Terre Haute-based disability attorney campaigned exhaustively but did not significantly improve on the Democrats' 2016 and 2014 nominees, who garnered just 32 and 36 percent of the vote respectively. Bucshon has scored several decisive re-election victories since 2012. With this latest one, Democrats may not seriously contest the 8th District seat until he retires. Bucshon said, as he has said after all his recent victories, that he's honored and humbled to have won. He said the victories come by such large margins because he and his staff earn it.

TRUMP FACES SUBPOENA CARAVAN FROM DEM HOUSE: With a new Democratic House majority, the Trump White House is bracing for a caravan of subpoenas covering everything from Russia to business deals to soon be headed their way (Axios). House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in her victory speech: "Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration." Democratic House committee chairs will now have subpoena power, with the ability to demand emails, budgets, schedules, meeting notes and testimony from top administration officials. White House officials from previous administrations say the Trump White House is thoroughly unstaffed and unprepared for the onslaught that's coming. "The treasure hunt for Donald Trump's tax returns is on the way," MSNBC's Chris Matthews said. Among the targets: Trump family businesses ... Trump dealings with Russia ... James Comey's firing ... Trump's firing of U.S. attorneys ... White House staff's personal email use ... Cabinet secretary travel ... The travel ban ... Family separation ... Hurricane response in Puerto Rico ... and many more.

CRUZ STAVES OFF O’ROURKE: Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, won re-election on Tuesday in one of the tightest midterm races in the country, defeating the best-financed and most popular Democrat to run in Texas in years, Representative Beto O’Rourke (New York Times). Mr. Cruz’s narrow victory did more than dash Democratic hopes that the party could capture a Senate seat in Texas for the first time since 1988. It promised to restore Mr. Cruz’s standing as a far-right force in American politics, after many leaders in his own party questioned whether he was likable enough to run successfully against a candidate like Mr. O’Rourke, an El Paso congressman known for his charisma. “This was an election about hope and about the future, and the people of Texas rendered a verdict that we want a future with more jobs and more security and more freedom,” Mr. Cruz told hundreds of supporters at a Houston hotel ballroom.

HAWLEY DEFEATS SEN. McCASKILL: Beating back a liberal suburban groundswell that proved lethal to many House Republicans, Josh Hawley claimed victory here on Tuesday over Senator Claire McCaskill, toppling one of Senate Democrats’ last remaining moderate voices, The Associated Press said. The contest was one of the most expensive Senate races in the country’s history — tens of millions of dollars in ads blanketed the state’s airwaves — framing the stakes: With Mr. Hawley’s victory, Republicans completed a rapid takeover of a onetime swing state and padded their majority in the Senate. “Tonight the people of Missouri have said that our way of life and our values are going to renew this country and that is what we are about, and that is what we are for,” Mr. Hawley said to a crowd of roaring supporters in Springfield, Mo., in the state’s conservative southwest.

CRAMER DEFEATS SEN. HEITKAMP: Representative Kevin Cramer, who latched onto Donald J. Trump even before he was president and never let go, ousted North Dakota’s incumbent Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, on Tuesday, flipping a key seat that was vital to Republican efforts to hold the Senate (New York Times). In an election that largely became a referendum on the president, voters here cast out the centrist Ms. Heitkamp, replacing an increasingly rare moderate voice in the Senate with a proud and fiercely conservative partisan.


HOLCOMB CONGRATULATES BRAUN: Gov. Eric Holcomb released this statement following Mike Braun’s victory in Indiana’s U.S. Senate race (Howey Politics Indiana): “Congratulations to Mike Braun, Indiana’s next U.S. Senator. I’ve always said that we need more Indiana in Washington, and that’s exactly what we’re getting with Mike Braun. Mike Braun understands the 28 words of the 10th Amendment. He’s built a homegrown Indiana business and served at the Statehouse. He knows a thing or two about Hoosier solutions – and he’ll take those solutions with him Washington.”

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT PASSES BY WIDE MARGIN: Indiana voters have approved a constitutional amendment that would require balanced budgets unless two-thirds of both houses of the General Assembly suspended the rule (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). With 31 percent of precincts reporting, 485,646 voters, or 73 percent, had approved the public question, while 182,221 voters, or 27 percent, opposed it. Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer said, “Today, Hoosiers voted to not just make balanced budgets the Republican way of doing things. Balanced budgets will now be the Hoosier way of doing things. By adding a balanced budget amendment to Indiana’s constitution, Hoosiers can have confidence that our elected leaders will be required to keep Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation. We’ll keep our books balanced, live within our means, pay our bills and serve Hoosiers with the highest level of fiscal integrity.”

HUPFER LAUDS TICKET: Indiana Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer released this statement following tonight’s election victories for Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Auditor Tera Klutz and Treasurer Kelly Mitchell (Howey Politics Indiana): “Connie Lawson, Tera Klutz and Kelly Mitchell are the real trifecta for Hoosiers. This all-female team of proven leaders are all about results – and Hoosiers are the ones benefiting each and every day."

HERMANN DEFEATS LEVCO FOR VANDERBURGH PROSECUTOR: Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann turned back a determined challenge Tuesday from Stan Levco, the man he ousted to take office eight years ago (Evansville Courier & Press). Hermann, a Republican, defeated Democrat Levco by a 53-47 percent margin in their third campaign against each other and political rubber match. "I'm glad to have the election over, and I'm looking forward to continuing in the spot," Hermann said after 9 p.m. Tuesday. "It's great to have the support from the community, verifying everything that we've done in the last eight years." Hermann, 39, attributed his victory to voters embracing his and his staff's frequent appearances at public meetings to share information and give advice about safety and legal issues.

DERNULC WINS IN LAKE: Lake County Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, held a lead Tuesday night in his bid for a third term on the council (NWI Times). Dernulc, also chairman of the Lake County Republican Party, appeared to hold a slight edge over Democratic challenger Barry Halgrimson to continue representing Dyer, Schererville and parts of Munster, Griffith, Highland and unincorporated sections of St. John Township on the Lake County Council. Halgrimson is a retired business owner and corporate management specialist who moved to Indiana three years ago and is active in progressive Democratic movements on the national level. Dernulc, one of two Republicans on the seven-member County Council, has become a conservative counterweight, voting against the 1.5 percent local income tax the council passed in 2013 and multimillion-dollar borrowing packages that were passed by the council's Democratic majority.

INDY PRECINCT HAD 1 VOLUNTEER, UNPLUGGED MACHINE: In Indianapolis, voters at West Lake Elementary school arrived to find the machines — in this case, optical scanners — unplugged and only one volunteer manning the polling place. When contacted by ProPublica, elections officials in Marion County said they were unaware of the issue, but they dispatched a mechanic to the site to get the machines up and running after our call (Daily Kos). According to ProPublica, the volunteer felt overwhelmed upon seeing the big line outside and just forgot to plug in the machines. The people trying to vote used paper ballots before the machines were turned back on. This is one of the many problems resulting from how few resources our country spends on the actual logistics of our democratic processes.

VOTING MACHINE WOES IN JOHNSON COUNTY: Voting problems and long waits are being reported in Johnson County this Election Day (Fox59). Clerk Sue Ann Misiniec told FOX59 that the county is having problems with its elections vendor, Election Systems & Software. She says it’s running extremely slowly and it’s “unacceptable.” Voters have complained of long lines as a result of the vendor’s apparent problems. Misiniec says voting is still open, but the vendor’s servers seem overloaded and the system is running slowly. She believes other Indiana counties may use the same system. In a statement, Election Systems & Software said it is “investigating the potential issue and working with elections officials to shorten wait times.”

ESS STATEMENT: Election Systems & Software provides voting equipment and support to about a third of the nation's voting jurisdictions, including Johnson County (WTHR-TV). ES&S released a statement saying, "The issue in Johnson County, Indiana has been resolved, resulting in faster check-in times for voters. Earlier in the day, the poll book, which is used to check in voters but is not related to voting machines themselves, was running slowly. The poll book operation is now significantly improved. We apologize to voters and to elections officials in Johnson County, Indiana for longer wait times than expected, and we thank everyone for their patience." Johnson County Clerk Susie Misiniec said “this is the worst election” in her eight-year history as clerk.

JOHNSON COUNTY DIDN’T EXTEND VOTING HOURS: Despite technological issues that led to long waits for some voters, Johnson County officials have said they will not seek a court order to extend voting hours past 6 p.m. (IndyStar). Phil Barrow, chairman of the Johnson County Election Board, said that after interruptions, lines were moving normally once again. He said more machines would be added if required. Barrow said the election board didn't feel it was necessary to extend the hours because things were moving smoothly. When asked what he would say to would-be voters who left after encountering long lines, Barrow said, "We trust that you can make it back by 6." Barrow affirmed that any voters in line at 6 p.m. will be able to vote.

MILLENIALS NOW THE LARGEST SINGLE VOTING BLOCK: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates persons born between 1981-1996 to number 75.4 million, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the nation (Bibbs, Anderson Herald Bulletin). If most were to vote, the millennials would be in control of the political direction of the nation. Millennials, according to an NBC News/GenForward survey released in August, overwhelmingly prefer Democrats take over Congress. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, only 21 percent of millennial voters actually cast ballots in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. However, a new poll released last week by the Harvard Institute of Politics reports about 40 percent said they definitely would vote this midterm cycle.

BILLBOARD BROUHAHA IN TOWNSHIP CONTEST: Two candidates for Wayne Township trustee are sparring over a swapped billboard near 16th and Lafayette Road that was removed by the billboard's owner (WRTV). Current trustee Andy Harris, a Republican running for re-election, posted on Facebook that someone removed his billboard. “I am very disappointed in the actions of my opponent and or his campaign,”  Harris said in a Facebook post. RTV6 reached out to Harris’s opponent, Chuck Jones, the Democratic candidate for Wayne Township trustee. “I had absolutely nothing to do with removing the sign,” Jones said. Timothy Logan, the owner of the building, explained he ordered the sign removed and released a statement to RTV6: "Billboards were placed on my property with a political advertisement without my consultation or expression of permission..."

DeWINE WINS OHIO GOV: Preserving all-Republican rule at the Statehouse, Mike DeWine was elected Ohio governor Tuesday as his familiarity and stay-the-course economic message prevailed over Democrat Richard Cordray’s call for change (Ludlow, Columbus Dispatch). “Tonight, one journey ends and another begins,” said DeWine, flanked by his large family and wife, Fran, when he took the stage at the Sheraton Downtown shortly after midnight. “We must work together not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Ohioans ... as governor, it will be my responsibility, and a responsibility I take very, very seriously, to pull people together.”

DEMS PICK UP GOVERNORS IN ILLINOIS, MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN: Democrats wrested control of governorships from Republicans in seven states on Tuesday including Wisconsin, where they ousted Scott Walker after eight tumultuous years as the state’s chief executive, and Kansas, a surprise victory in a longtime Republican stronghold (New York Times). But Republicans fended off strong Democratic challenges to hold on to the governorships of Florida, Ohio and Iowa, maintaining their control of three states likely to be crucial in the 2020 presidential elections. The victories expanded the number of states with Democratic chief executives — an important consideration as legislatures begin the process of drawing congressional district lines. In addition to Kansas and Wisconsin, Democrats also picked up governor’s seats in Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico and Maine.

ABRAMS VOWS TO STAY IN GA GOV RACE: Democrat Stacey Abrams says votes remain to be counted in the tight Georgia governor’s race and vows to wait for them all (Associated Press). Abrams told supporters at her election night party that they would “have a chance to do a do-over” in her race against Republican Brian Kemp, implying a runoff. Kemp has a narrow lead in the vote count, but it was still possible the race could go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

WOMEN MAKE GAINS: Women killed it, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports. At least 111 women were elected, including: 40 women of color who are headed to the House. (The current number is 38.) The first female senator from Tennessee. The first female governors of South Dakota and Maine. Michelle Lujan Grisham is the first Democratic Latina elected as a governor. 33 congressional races featured two women facing off against each other, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.  Other firsts: Deb Haaland of New Mexico is the first Native American woman in the House. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan is the first Muslim congresswoman. Ilhan Omar of Illinois is the first Somali-American congresswoman. Jared Polis of Colorado is the first openly gay man to win a governor's race. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, 29, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Sharice Davids of Kansas is the first lesbian Native American in Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar became the first two Latinas elected to Congress from Texas tonight. Chris Pappas is New Hampshire's first openly gay member of Congress.


ECONOMY: STEELWORKERS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT - The United Steelworkers (USW) announced after deadline on Friday that the union has reached tentative agreements on new contracts with ArcelorMittal USA on behalf of about 15,000 workers at 14 of the company’s U.S. locations (Chesterton Tribune). Subject to a vote by the membership of 13 local unions, the proposed four-year agreement would expire on Sept. 1, 2022.

EDUCATION: IU FACES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OVER MOLD - Indiana University faces a class action lawsuit in regards to a mold infestation affecting students living in two residence halls on campus (Eady, WFIU). The complaint was filed October 17. It lists seven plaintiffs, all who are freshman residents in McNutt and Foster dormitories. It alleges that the university didn’t respond to repeated requests to address the mold problem and refused to provide detailed information to the plaintiffs and their families regarding the nature of the mold or steps to remediate the problem.

SPORT: USOC DECERTIFIES INDY-BASED USA GYMNASTICS - The U.S. Olympic Committee took steps Monday to decertify Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, choosing to pursue the nuclear option for an organization that botched its own rebuilding attempt in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar (Associated Press). In an open letter to the gymnastics community, USOC chief executive Sarah Hirshland said "you deserve better," and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP DECLARES ‘BIG VICTORY’ - President Trump on Wednesday declared a “Big Victory” in the midterm elections and suggested the outcome — Democrats took control of the House but Republicans gained seats in the Senate — would bolster his ability to negotiate trade deals (Washington Post). “Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals,” Trump said on Twitter. “Now we can all get back to work and get things done!”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CALLS PELOSI - President Donald Trump has called to congratulate Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi as her party stood on the brink of recapturing the House of Representatives (Associated Press). White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president made a series of calls while watching the election results late Tuesday. Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said Trump called Pelosi to congratulate her and to note her tone of bipartisanship. Sanders says Trump also called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “to congratulate him on historic Senate gains.”


MIGRANTS CAMPED IN MEXICO CITY: Thousands of Central Americans dreaming of getting to the United States awoke Tuesday to donations of fruit and hot coffee at a sports stadium in Mexico's chilly capital as the U.S. held midterm elections in which President Donald Trump has made the migrant caravan a central issue (Associated Press). Authorities counted more than 2,000 migrants at the Jesus Martinez stadium late Monday, and a steady flow continued into the night.


CITIES: FORT WAYNE PANEL OKs ELECTRIC WORKS BONDS - The last significant local road block to the Electric Works project was lifted this morning when members of the Capital Improvement Board voted unanimously to issue $45 million in bonds to support it (Slater, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Almost 75 percent of the $248 million funding for Electric Works would come from sources outside the community, comprised of federal, state and private money.

CITIES: HAMMOND 'ALL IN' FOR SECOND GAMING LICENSE - A unanimous City Council passed a resolution Monday night asking state authorities to transfer one of Majestic Star Casino’s two gaming licenses to the city (Cross, NWI Times) The development follows Gary’s announced plans to relocate its casino, if it obtains state approval, to make way for development of Buffington Harbor into an intermodal transport hub.

CITIES: WARSAW TO DOUBLE TECHNOLOGY PARK ACREAGE - Plans at the Warsaw Tech Park call for over 50 additional acres -- more than double the current footprint -- and a new shell building (McGowan, Inside Indiana Business). Both are set to open next year in the Kosciusko County city and feature easy access to U.S. 30. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer says "Warsaw Tech Park is an example of the public-private partnerships that can propel our community forward."

CITIES: DEMOLITON BEGINS AT GARY PUBLIC HOUSING COMPLEX - Instead of ceremonial shovels, officials wielded sledge hammers Monday as Delaney Community West, a 64-year-old public housing complex, began crumbling down (Carlson, Post-Tribune ). By late spring, all 42 buildings that were once home to 227 families, will be gone. The $3.2 million project also includes seven buildings in 27 units of Concord Village at 5001 W. 19th Ave.

CITIES: FRIDAY DEADLINE FOR SCOOTER COMPANIES IN BLOOMINGTON - Scooter companies have until Friday to reach an agreement with the city to continue operating in Bloomington (Hren, WFIU). City leaders are implementing new safety measures while city council members come up with scooter ordinances. Bird and Lime companies dropped off more than 500 e-scooters in September. City officials are issuing more guidelines on their website.

CITIES: INDY CONSIDERS EMINENT DOMAIN TO BUY VACANT COMPLEX - The city of Indianapolis is hoping to acquire—through a traditional purchase or eminent domain—a vacant, troubled far-east-side apartment complex that has been frustrating city leaders and standing in the way of new development for years (Colombo, IBJ). The Indianapolis City-County Council's Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved a proposal approving a request from the Department of Metropolitan Development to buy the Oak Tree Apartments near 42nd Street and Post Road from Indy Diamond LLC.

COUNTIES: $3.6M LOAN FOR ELKHART TO UPGRADE RADIOS - The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners took a major step Monday toward bringing the county in line with the ongoing statewide switch to the 800 MHz radio system for first responders (Kline, Goshen News). During their meeting, the commissioners approved a $3.6 million loan from the county’s Major Moves fund to help pay for the conversion of the Elkhart County Public Service Communications/9-1-1 Center from the older 700 MHz radio system to the newer and much more integrated 800 MHz radio system.

COUNTIES: CASS AUDITOR OKs CLAIM AFTER CITATION FOR CONTEMPT - Cass County's auditor agreed to approve a payroll voucher after a judge cited her for criminal contempt but she plans to protest, maintaining the payment violates county and state rules (Kirk, Logansport Pharos-Tribune). Cass Superior Court 2 Judge Rick Maughmer filed a citation for direct criminal contempt against Cass County Auditor Cheryl Alcorn on Nov. 2. The citation refers to a payroll schedule and voucher Maughmer submitted to the auditor's office on Oct. 29 that Alcorn refused to pay.