TRUMP ELECTED 45TH PRESIDENT IN EPIC UPSET: Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy (New York Times). The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold. The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration. The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism. In Mr. Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, they found an improbable champion. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. on Wednesday at a rally in New York City, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede. In a departure from a blistering campaign in which he repeatedly stoked division, Mr. Trump sought to do something he had conspicuously avoided as a candidate: Appeal for unity. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

 

PENCE GAMBLE PAYS OFF: Gov. Mike Pence’s gamble paid off. After joining one of the most unconventional political campaigns in modern history and taking a job many others didn't want, the Indiana Republican will be the nation’s next vice president (Groppe, Gannett News Service). "This is a historic night," Pence told the crowed at the New York Hilton Midtown shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday. "The American people have spoken. And the American people have elected their new champion." And Pence could become one of the more influential vice presidents because he has the Washington experience and connections Trump lacks. “In many respects, Mike is the guy who is going to fill in all the blanks and help make many of the policy items of the conservative movement a reality,” said Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a close friend. “I think he would be one of the more active vice presidents possibly in the history of the republic, certainly in recent memory.” Getting to the No. 2 job has been a long journey for a man who had to temporarily shelve his own presidential ambitions after a challenging first term as governor. Pence faced a difficult re-election campaign when he agreed to be Donald Trump’s running mate instead. But the rocky rollout of that choice came amid reports that Trump wanted someone else. The New York Post and CNN recently reported that Trump had first offered the job to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before Trump’s then campaign manager and his children maneuvered to change his mind. And as the campaign progressed, Pence continued to be alternatively overshadowed by Trump and called on to try to reshape Trump’s comments into positions more palatable to voters.

 

HOLCOMB COMPLETES IMPROBABLE GUBERNATORIAL BID: Republican Eric Holcomb completed an improbable and winding path to the governorship Tuesday night, using a Trump/Pence tidal wave in Indiana to swamp Democrat John Gregg (Howey & Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). The collateral damage was vast for Indiana Democrats, already saddled as a party of Lake and Marion Counties and a handful of college towns. Indiana Republicans have super majorities in the General Assembly, hold eight out of 11 congressional seats with Republican Trey Hollingsworth defeating Shelli Yoder in the 9th, and with the defeat of Supt. Glenda Ritz, have lost their one toe hold in the Statehouse. The disaster came as the Trump/Pence ticket rolled to a 20% plurality in the state, swamping just about every Democrat in its path. Holcomb began 2016 as a U.S. Senate candidate, was selected by Gov. Mike Pence to fill a vacant lieutenant governor office, and was then elected in late July to fill Pence’s gubernatorial nomination after he left for the national ticket. Holcomb celebrated his victory. “We just captured the checkered flag. We are not competing anymore, we have won. The people who really needed to be thanked are people in this room and rooms like this across the state. When we kicked this thing off, you heard what I heard. You heard: Holcomb can’t raise enough money. Holcomb can’t put a credible statewide campaign together in this short amount of time. Holcomb can’t do this, and Holcomb can’t do that. Well, they were partly right, Holcomb couldn’t do it, but we did it,” the governor-elect said. “Folks, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Holcomb added, “We did it with a remarkable ground game.” Holcomb thanked Gov. Mike Pence and former Gov. Mitch Daniels. “It’s because of my current boss Mike Pence that we proved this state works. It is because of their collective and proven leadership. Mitch Daniels laid the foundation and Mike Pence added a couple of stories. We’re going to add story after story.” Holcomb talked of his 100 day campaign, and then said the next 100 days “begins tomorrow.” He said that it begins “the assembly of a team.” Gregg, surrounded by crestfallen family members and staff, told a subdued crowd at the Indiana Convention Center, “This has been a whacky ride. This is the start where the healing begins. Tonight we’re all Hoosiers, as the dust settles and the wounds begin to heal, we’ll still be Hoosiers. Even though tonight is disappointing, tomorrow will be a new day.”

 

YOUNG RIDES TRUMP SURGE TO END BAYH DYNASTY: What was once unthinkable became reality on Tuesday night as Republican Todd Young has defeated Democrat Evan Bayh for the U.S. Senate. He becomes, perhaps, the first victim of what appears to be an emphatic surge by the Donald Trump/Mike Pence ticket in the Hoosier state (Howey & Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). It is the culmination of a twisting race where Bayh, the former two-term senator and governor, nudged nominee Baron Hill out in July, arriving with the $10 million war chest he had hoarded for half a decade. Young told a boisterous Republican rally, “Hoosiers voted to send in the Marines to fix Washington. This seat needed to stay in the hands of a conservative minded Hoosier.  Tonight is a great night, and tomorrow let's get to work." Young added, ”I’d like to thank Bayh for his years of service...he had Indiana's best interest in mind. Our problems don't care if we are Republican or Democrat. Its time we come together.” Bayh conceded, calling Young and congratulating him on the victory. “I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me all these years.” Bayh said Hoosiers had “given me the defining moments of my life, representing you for 22 years.” Bayh added, “America needs unity more than anything else. Reach out to those who voted in a different direction.” Overnight Young went from a big money advantage over Hill to an almost 10-to-1 money disadvantage and Bayh’s campaign released internal polling showing he had almost a 20% lead. And then, with the Citizens United Supreme Court decision looming large, tens of millions of dollars began to flow in for Young via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund. It quickly leveled the playing field. Bayh’s double digit lead was reduced to a 44-40% advantage in the September WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana Poll, then to a 42-41% edge in our October survey before the lid blew off. In our Nov. 1-3 poll, Young jetted out to a 46-41%, evidence of an epic brand destruction for the Bayh clan established more than half a century ago.

 

McCORMICK UPSETS SUPT. RITZ: Republican Jennifer McCormick defeated incumbent Glenda Ritz in the race for Indiana schools chief Tuesday, cementing a GOP sweep of statewide offices (Schneider & Rudavsky, IndyStar). Four years ago, Ritz, a Democrat, dealt a surprising defeat to a GOP incumbent. On Tuesday, it was Ritz’s turn to face her own surprising loss. In celebrating her win, McCormick said "we have a lot of work to do." She named repairing relationships that she argued Ritz had severed as a priority. "I had a great deal of positive momentum," said McCormick. Teachers reached out to her, she said, to learn more about her background. Meanwhile, Ritz used her concession speech to reiterate many of the main issues in her campaign. “There is work to do to continue building an education system of equity and high quality,” she said. Then she exhorted Hoosier educators and families: “You must be a part of the conversation… Be a loud voice at the state house.” Ritz ran for re-election on the message that Hoosier students should face less standardized testing. She also pushed for a “universal” state-funded pre-K program and an end to labeling schools with A-F ratings.

 

HOLLINGSWORTH BREEZES BY YODER IN 9TH: Republican Trey Hollingsworth told a room full of supporters he was excited voters said “no” to the political culture in Washington, D.C. (Beilman, News & Tribune). “It was today that the American people got the opportunity to say ‘no’ to a government that’s not working for them, got the opportunity to say ‘no’ to a foreign policy that’s not keeping us safe at home, they got the opportunity to say ‘no’ to status quo politicians and the opportunity to say ‘no’ to no more budget deficits and debts,” Hollingsworth said at Kye’s in Jeffersonville. On Tuesday, citizens of the 9th Congressional District said “yes” to Hollingsworth. The political newcomer won the Congressional district handily with 54 percent, or 169,414 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting by 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. Democrat candidate Shelli Yoder received 40 percent, or 125,355 votes, and Libertarian candidate Russell Brooksbank received 5 percent, or 16,960 votes. “I couldn’t be more grateful for where we stand today,” Hollingsworth said. “We got into this race back in August because we believe in this campaign and we believe in the 9th District and the many families who are living paycheck to paycheck,” Yoder said (Bloomington Herald-Times). “We set forth on something that so many people said was completely impossible.”

 

A DIGITAL AGE ‘DEWEY V. TRUMAN’: All the dazzling technology, the big data and the sophisticated modeling that American newsrooms bring to the fundamentally human endeavor of presidential politics could not save American journalism from yet again being behind the story, behind the rest of the country (Rutenberg, New York Times). The news media by and large missed what was happening all around it, and it was the story of a lifetime. The numbers weren’t just a poor guide for election night — they were an off-ramp away from what was actually happening. No one predicted a night like this — that Donald J. Trump would pull off a stunning upset over Hillary Clinton and win the presidency. The misfire on Tuesday night was about a lot more than a failure in polling. It was a failure to capture the boiling anger of a large portion of the American electorate that feels left behind by a selective recovery, betrayed by trade deals that they see as threats to their jobs and disrespected by establishment Washington, Wall Street and the mainstream media. Journalists didn’t question the polling data when it confirmed their gut feeling that Mr. Trump could never in a million years pull it off. They portrayed Trump supporters who still believed he had a shot as being out of touch with reality. In the end, it was the other way around. It was just a few months ago that so much of the European media failed to foresee the vote in Britain to leave the European Union. Election 2016, thy name is Brexit.

 

COMEY LETTER SIGNALLED END TO CLINTON TEAM: “We have some news. It’s not good.” Hillary Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri filled the candidate in as the plane landed in Iowa, with campaign manager Robby Mook in the huddle. Jim Comey’s letter had hit when they were still in the air, without wifi, and now they were all at once processing the news and a game plan and the worry the FBI director had delivered an “existential” hit to a campaign already more nervous than it had been letting on (Politico). Clinton was sitting up in her private cabin, chatting with childhood friend Betsy Ebeling. “You knew we weren’t done,” Palmieri told the boss. “I knew there would be something," Clinton told them with a slight smile. “So here it is.” Here it was. Again. More emails, pretty much the only thing her campaign was about from before it even started. And for Clinton, who sees her life as the story of battling back unhinged and unfair partisan attacks, the latest round of Them against Us. Everything that Democrats and pretty much anyone else thought they understood about politics was proven wrong this year, with a resounding exclamation mark Tuesday night. All along this looked like a hard fight, but never a fight that she seemed to be losing, even on the darkest days on a campaign that never quite felt like it was winning, either. Democrats and many others are now in crisis, wrapping their minds around the reality of a President Donald Trump. But the crisis is sharpest in Clinton campaign headquarters: not only do they feel like everything is about to go deeply, collapse-of-America wrong, but it’s going to happen because she failed, and they failed her.

 

VIGO COUNTY CONTINUES BELLWETHER STREAK: Vigo County spoke for itself Tuesday, just as it always has. But, could it be that, for the first time since 1952, the nation disagreed? Not so fast (Bennett, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The county’s charmed political life as “America’s presidential bellwether” seemed poised to end with the 2016 election. As the votes were tabulated early Tuesday evening, it became clear that Vigo Countians heavily favored ex-reality TV star and real estate billionaire Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. When news of Trump’s victory in the county reached the rest of the country, the initial presumption was that Vigo would lose its bellwether status after favoring the winning presidential candidate in 30 of the previous 32 elections. Besides, the polls close in Vigo and other Indiana counties earlier than any other state in the nation, except Kentucky. And Trump’s archrival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had been projected in pre-election polls to win the presidency by a handful of percentage points.

 

REPUBLICANS KEEP SUPER MAJORITIES: Heading into Tuesday's election, Democrats hoped that the controversial campaign of Donald Trump and anticipated close races for governor and senator would help them build momentum to end the supermajority in the Indiana House and gain seats in the Indiana Senate (Sikich, IndyStar). But by Wednesday morning, it was Republicans who were riding a red tide in down ballot races. The Associated Press was projecting the Democrats would flip one seat in the House and Republicans would flip one seat in the Senate. The GOP has had unprecedented control of the Indiana General Assembly for four years, electing majorities large enough to craft and pass legislation by superseding procedural rules or conducting meetings without Democrats present. Since 2012, Republicans have picked up 21 seats in the House and three in the Senate. The GOP now holds a 71-29 advantage in the House — the largest majority for either party in more than 40 years. Republicans have a 40-10 advantage in the Senate  — the largest majority in more than 60 years.

 

4 STATES LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL POT; 3 PASS MEDICINAL: Recreational marijuana supporters are celebrating Wednesday morning after some big wins Tuesday in four states (Associated Press). Voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada voted to legalize recreational use. The measure did not pass in Arizona. Adults older than 21 can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six plants. Three other states — Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas — approved medical marijuana proposals on their ballots. While there was no such ballot referendum here in Indiana, the WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana October poll showed 73% approved medicinal marijuana.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Dewey defeats Truman? No, we’ve just witnessed the most historic upset in American presidential history. The Trump/Pence victory last night is a revolution that will shatter all prevailing norms in the campaign industry, polling, the news media and reporting, to Capitol Hill and foreign relations. It was a thorough repudiation of the establishment and status quo. Gov. Mike Pence emerges as an uncanny politician whose timing and scope has now presented him to a national stage and, perhaps, a powerful vice presidency. Here in Indiana, we are essentially a one-party state with Republican dominance at its utter apex. Eric Holcomb now takes the helm, extending the GOP dynasty into a 16th year and potentially matching its last dynasty during the Whitcomb/Bowen/Orr era. For Indiana Democrats, the Bayh era is over, John Gregg heads to electoral retirement and the party must look to Rep. Christina Hale and Mayors Peter Buttigieg and Greg Goodnight for a new brand of leadership. Look for more analysis and commentary in Thursday’s weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

 

CURTIS HILL WINS AG RACE: Republican Curtis Hill was elected Indiana’s new Attorney General, according to Associated Press. Hill defeated Democrat Lorenzo Arrendondo in the race. The two men sought to succeed Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who did not seek a third term after losing May’s Republican primary for a U.S. House seat. Republicans have held the statewide post since 2001. The duties of the state attorney general’s office include defending Indiana when it’s sued, serving as the legal adviser to state agencies and approving state contracts. Hill will be the first African-American man to serve as Indiana’s attorney general.

 

REP. WALORSKI REELECTED WITH 59%: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski told supporters on Tuesday night that "our Republican message just rocked the entire state of Indiana" (Allen, South Bend Tribune). Walorski rocked the 2nd Congressional District, too. The Jimtown Republican convincingly won a third two-year term in north-central Indiana's congressional seat on Tuesday. According to preliminary results, Walorski garnered 59 percent of the vote in the 10-county district to soundly defeat Democrat Lynn Coleman. It was Walorski's second-straight blowout victory in the 2nd District. Walorski won a majority of votes in nine of the district's 10 counties on Tuesday. St. Joseph County was the only place where Coleman topped Walorski, and even there he won only 49 percent of the vote. "The Republican House had a message of better ways to get things done, a better agenda, a better way to keep our nation safe, a better way to continue to build our economy, a better way to take care of our veterans," Walorski told her supporters on Tuesday night during a victory party at The Vault in downtown South Bend.

 

MESSER EASILY REELECTED: Democrat Barry Welsh's prediction that he would upset Republican U.S. Rep. Luke Messer in Tuesday's election was way off base (Muncie Star Press). Messer held a $1.5 million to $4,606 advantage over Welsh in fundraising and was leading the election itself 70 percent to 26 percent on Tuesday night. "He does have all those corporations supporting him," Welsh told The Star Press last week. "My yard signs say I'm the people's candidate. He is the corporate candidate, and I am winning through social media. I honestly believe we are going to win this thing and shock the whole country."

 

CHAIRMAN SOLIDAY REELECTED: State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, will be around to shape Indiana’s long-term infrastructure spending plan, as chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, after prevailing in a close-fought race against Democratic former Porter County Clerk Pam Fish (NWI Times).

 

REARDON UPSETS REP. FINE: Voters in Munster, Highland, Hammond and Griffith decided to send former state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, back to the Statehouse in place of state Rep. Bill Fine, R-Munster, who ended her initial eight-year tenure in 2014 (NWI Times).

 

SIEGRIST WINS HD26: Sally Siegrist will be the next state representative in House District 26 (Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier). How she got there might be just as telling as the fact that she won Tuesday. One thing Siegrist and Vicky Woeste could always agree on in their race to replace Republican state Rep. Randy Truitt in the Indiana House was where they were for the defining moment of their campaigns. It was May 3, in the Tippecanoe County Office Building in downtown Lafayette. Each had won primaries when Siegrist, a West Lafayette Republican, told reporters she would challenge Woeste to sign a positive campaign pledge in a contest for an open seat minority Democrats saw as a wedge to help breakup Republican supermajority in the General Assembly. Woeste won’t deny that she took it as an affront that night. (“I did think it was posturing at the time, as if I was somehow going to campaign any other way,” she said Tuesday.) But the challenge – and the promise they hammered out a month later that both would bat down outside attempts to smear or distort the other – wound up being a liberating moment for the six months that followed. “That allowed people to relax a little and focus on the issues,” Woeste said. “Win or lose, I guess knowing that we weren’t going to pull some dirty attack, people really paid attention to what we were all about.”

 

HATFIELD KEEPS HD77 IN DEM HANDS: Ryan Hatfield sailed to victory in Indiana's 77th District Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Johnny Kincaid (Osowski, Evansville Courier & Press). Hatfield, who will keep the Dist. 77 seat in Democratic hands, won with 59 percent of the vote to Kincaid's 40 percent. Hatfield, currently a deputy prosecutor in Vanderburgh County, won after a very cordial race between both candidates. Hatfield said from the beginning his campaign was focused on the people of Dist. 77, not running negative campaigns or focusing on divisive issues. He said the results of the election bear out the success of that push. He said the people of Dist. 77 are ready for a candidate who is focused on them and the issues that directly effect them. "We are thrilled with the results and humbled with the faith that the voters have placed in me and my team," Hatfield said after the election went final.

 

CHARBONNEAU PREVAILS IN SD5: State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, overcame a spirited challenged by Democrat Jim Harper to win a third full term representing Valparaiso, Hebron, Kouts and Jasper County (NWI Times). Charbonneau is expected to remain chairman of the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee where he oversees state water policy and other key issues.

 

RUCKLESHAUS, SANDLIN, FREEMAN WIN SENATE RACES: The most competitive was thought to be District 30, which includes parts of the Broad Ripple area and Fishers. Scott Schneider won a close race two years ago and is retiring. But former Republican Rep. John Ruckelshaus was leading former Democratic City-Council Councilwoman Pam Hickman (Sikich, IndyStar). Pat Miller also is retiring in District 32, which includes an area that tends to lean Republican in southeast Marion County. Republican City-County Councilman Aaron Freeman was leading Beech Grove Middle School teacher Sara Wiley. District 36, which includes southern Marion County, is open because incumbent Brent Waltz ran unsuccessfully for Congress. The district includes parts of Downtown, which Democrats hope gives them an opening. Republican City-County Councilman Jack Sandlin was leading health care industry compliance professional Sean Gorman, who defeated the Democrats' slated candidate in May.

 

 BOHACEK WINS SD8 REPLACES SEN. ARNOLD: Republican LaPorte County Commissioner Mike Bohacek, of Michiana Shores, will succeed retiring state Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte (NWI Times). Bohacek outpolled Democrat Maxine Spenner, of LaPorte, in part by persuading voters that a Democratic senator cannot effectively represent the district in a Republican-dominated chamber.

 

REP. AYLESWORTH WINS SECOND TERM:  Voters awarded state Rep. Mike Aylesworth, R-Hebron, a second term representing the southern third of Lake and Porter counties (NWI Times). He defeated Democrat James Metro, of Cedar Lake, for a second time to return to the Statehouse.

 

REP. SLAGER REELECTED: State Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville, a member of the budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee, will be going back to Indianapolis for a third term (NWI Times). He defeated Dyer Democrat Tom O’Donnell in a rematch of their close 2012 race.

 

REP. OLTHOFF APPEARS TO HAVE WON: State Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point, appears to have narrowly prevailed over former state Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, after the House Republican Campaign Committee pumped in nearly $600,000 in the final month of the race to push Olthoff toward a second-term win representing Crown Point, Merrillville, Winfield and Lakes of the Four Seasons (NWI Times).

 

PRESSEL DEFEATS BIERNACKI IN HD20: Republican Jim Pressel, of Rolling Prairie, defeated Democrat Karen Biernacki, of LaPorte, and Libertarian Aurea Torres, of LaPorte, in this rare open seat contest to succeed state Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte.

 

MORRISON, HEATON RETURN: Incumbents appeared to win both contested races for state representatives involving Vigo County in the general election, although Tuesday's results won't be official for a while. The closest race showed 39-year-old Alan Morrison, a Republican, leading Democrat Tim Skinner by more than 3,000 votes to likely earn the right to represent the 42nd District. However, late Tuesday night, all votes had not been counted in Vigo County, where Skinner maintained only a slim lead. Morrison, a Terre Haute resident who anticipates going into a third term, handily won Clay, Parke, Fountain and Warren counties and tied Skinner in Vermillion County. Morrison declined to speak to the Tribune-Star. Attempts to reach Skinner, a former state senator, Vigo County Council member and retired high school teacher from Terre Haute, were unsuccessful. For District 46, Republican Bob Heaton of Terre Haute appeared to handily earn a fourth term by downing Democratic challenger Bill Breeden. Again, all votes had not been counted, but Heaton unofficially won Owen County by more then 2,800 votes and was leading by significant margins in Vigo and Monroe counties.

 

REPS. WRIGHT, ERRINGTON REELECTED: Democratic state representatives Sue Errington and Melanie Wright — who served in the super-superminority in the Legislature for the past two years — were both re-elected on Tuesday (Muncie Star Press). After the 2014 election, only 29 of 100 House seats and only 10 of 50 Senate seats were occupied by Democrats. Women also are in the minority in the Legislature — just one out of every five lawmakers. In addition, Wright is the General Assembly's only active school teacher. "We are realistic enough to know we will not become a majority this year," Errington told The Star Press on Tuesday. "But we want to get out of superminority status is our goal. If (Democrat) John Gregg can become governor, that will help in the General Assembly as well."

 

REPS. MAYFIELD, PIERCE WIN: Republicans swept all area state representative races with the exception of Indiana House District 61, where Democrat Matt Pierce defeated independent Drew Ash (Bloomington Herald-Times). Republican incumbent Peggy Mayfield defeated Democratic challenger Penny Githens by about 8,000 votes to retain the District 60 seat. “Of course I feel very good,” Mayfield said while out picking up campaign signs late Tuesday. “Any candidate works for months to have it come down to today. A lot of people helped me make this happen, and I’m just very, very happy.” Mayfield said she and her campaign volunteers talked to more than 16,000 people in District 60, which consists of portions of Morgan and Monroe counties. “That’s a lot of door knocking,” she said. “We’ve been doing it since June.”

 

MAY WINS HD65; KOCH WINS SENATE SEAT: Republican Chris May defeated Democrat Chris Woods for the District 65 seat, which was open after Eric Koch decided to successfully run for state Senate (Bloomington Herald-Times). And Republican incumbent Bob Heaton retained his District 46 seat. Heaton had about 17,000 votes, compared with about 9,000 for Democratic challenger Bill Breeden.

 

REP. ELLINGTON WINS HD62: Republican incumbent Jeff Ellington beat Democrat Steve Lindsey by about 5,000 votes to retain his District 62 seat (Bloomington Herald-Times). “As I went to my district, I heard firsthand they liked the direction the state was going since Mitch Daniels made a turnaround,” he said referring to the former Republican Indiana governor. “I wasn’t sure if the whole state felt that way, but at least in District 62 they did.”

 

DORIOT WINS SD12: Republican Blake Doriot bested Democrat Carl Rust on Tuesday, securing the District 12 State Senate seat for the next four years (Quiggle, Elkhart Truth). Doriot received 26,656 votes to Rust's 11,646. He will replace current Senator Carlin Yoder, who announced that he was retiring at the end of the year. Doriot, the current Elkhart County surveyor, is also owner of a New Paris business, BDoriot and Associates. Doriot had said previously that the state's infrastructure needs are a big reason why he decided to run — getting rid of "fluff" in projects, completing the I-69 project near Indianapolis and making I-65 three lanes wide. He has also mentioned creating tolls on newly constructed roads as a possible way to help pay for infrastructure needs.

 

REP. WESCO WINS REMATCH: The three-way battle for the District 21 seat between incumbent Republican Tim Wesco, Democrat Jodi Buoscio and Liberterian Ethan Legg ended in Wesco receiving a fourth term to represent a district that cuts into south Elkhart, Wakarusa, the Jimtown area and Osceola in neighboring St. Joseph County (Elkhart Truth). Wesco received 8,833 votes, Buoscio 5,098 and Legg 729 in Elkhart County. Wesco had said previously that his main focus in his fourth bid for office was creating jobs, keeping taxes in check and assuring strong fiscal responsibility at the state level.

 

REPS. OBER, MILLER REELECTED: Two longtime Elkhart County residents battled for the District 48 seat. Incumbent Republican Doug Miller secured the victory after defeating Democrat James Barnes 14,688 to 7,424. Miller, who was seeking his second term, represents northwestern Elkhart County, including northern Elkhart (Elkhart Truth). He said some of his priorities included continued talks on infrastructure needs and road funding, as well as a look at career training and replacing the states standardized test, ISTEP. Incumbent Republican David Ober secured a third term by defeating Democrat David Wilber for a third time. Ober represents Noble County and small portions of Elkhart, LaGrange, Whitley and Allen counties, he was first elected in 2012.

 

MUSGRAVE VOWS TO BUILD I-69 BRIDGE: The three-member body that runs Vanderburgh County government just acquired a self-described transformational leader with big ideas -- and a conciliator who stresses inclusion and civility (Evansville Courier & Press). Republican Cheryl Musgrave, a former county commissioner who reclaimed her old seat on the Board of Commissioners, joined Democrat Ben Shoulders, a political newcomer, in the winner's circle. Because the new configuration of commissioners already includes Republican Bruce Ungethiem, the GOP will maintain its 2-1 majority on the executive governing body. Naming several projects she said must be completed, the 58-year-old Musgrave singled out completion of Interstate 69 "all the way to Indianapolis" as imperative to economic development. She vowed to lobby state legislators and members of Congress and to join forces with any organization necessary to get the project moving. "We have to have that new $800 million bridge over the Ohio River that's on the drawing board, to be the I-69 connector in the future," she said. "When that bridge is in place and it's connected and I-69 goes all the way to Indianapolis, then we'll get the payday that I-69 has promised. That's when it will deliver the promise of economic development.''

 

REPS. CARSON, VISCLOSKY RETURN: U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis, was one of a few Democrats from Indiana to win their congressional races Tuesday night, landing an easy victory in District 7 (IBJ). Carson, an incumbent, captured 60 percent of the vote to Republican Catherine Ping's with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting. Carson won his fifth straight term to the U.S. Congress. His grandmother, Julia Carson, held the seat from 1997 until her death in 2007. Other winners on the Republican side included Todd Rokita (R-Indianapolis ) in the 4th District, Susan Brooks (R-Carmel) in the 5th District, Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) in the 6th District, Larry Bucshon (R-Newburgh in the 8th District, Trey Hollingsworth in District 9 (see story), and Jackie Walorski (R-Elkhart) in the 2nd District. Pete Visclosky (D-Merrillville) in the 1st District had a big lead late in the night with about half of the vote counted.

 

ROKITA REACTS TO REELECTION: U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita released the following statement regarding Donald Trump's victory (Howey Politics Indiana). “After sweeping victories across the nation, the American people have spoken and they have spoken loudly. I continue to be thankful that the peoples' voice reigns supreme over the media and establishment. It’s more evidence of our American Exceptionalism. This is a victory not only for the Trump campaign, but for all Americans. Trump has been working hard to make America great again, focusing on issues that mean the most to the American people. I believe Trump and Pence are the best partners for me in fighting for all Hoosiers so they can build better lives for themselves and their families.” Rokita has supported Trump since his nomination. You can read Rokita’s statement regarding his support for Trump by clicking here. Rokita often served as a surrogate for the Trump campaign and championed Trump's policy proposals. Click here to read Rokita’s statement on Trump’s $20 billion school choice plan. The Rokita campaign also used their grassroots network to encourage Hoosier voters to support Trump through their door knocking and phone banking efforts.

 

FISHING, HUNTING AMENDMENT PASSES: Indiana voters overwhelming decided to amend the state constitution's bill of rights, adding a right to hunt and fish (IndyStar). At 9 p.m. Tuesday, AP called the race with 50 percent of precincts reporting and 80 percent of voters favoring the constitutional amendment. The amendment prohibits local governments from passing laws banning hunting or fishing; and empowers only the Indiana General Assembly to change laws governing hunting and fishing. It also stipulates that hunting is the preferred method for controlling wildlife populations. Joel Schumm, a clinical professor of law at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law, said he wasn't surprised by the big win for the amendment. He said the question got lost in the shuffle with other big races going on in Indiana. He said for the most part, voters probably looked at the question and decided hunting is something that should be protected. "Hunting and fishing is deeply ingrained in our culture and our state," Schumm said. "The opposition's argument was the amendment was unnecessary, which isn't a very compelling case."



Presidential 2016

 

OBAMA, TRUMP TO MEET THURSDAY: A meeting between President Obama and President-Elect Donald Trump is “likely” to come Thursday, White House press assistant Desiree Barnes told Fox News. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway initially told NBC that Obama called Trump, but it was unclear what they talked about. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in October that Obama would make sure that there would be a smooth transition to the next president, even if it was Trump who became president. “The President is prepared to honor the will of the American people,” Earnest said. “Hopefully that’s not going to come about, but I think that’s a reflection of the president’s commitment to this issue, that he’swilling to exercise his own significant authority consistent with the approach he’s hoping that everybody else will take.”

 

CAN TRUMP GOVERN? It didn't matter to Donald Trump's supporters that he offered voters few specifics on policy. It didn't matter to them that, in building out his campaign, he seemed to value flattery and loyalty over experience. It didn't matter, to many at least, that he insulted his rivals, objectified women, mocked the disabled and encouraged violence at his rallies (Politico). Now it matters to the United States and the world. Exit polls revealed 61 percent of Americans don't believe Trump is ready to be president. And yet, what much of the country thought was unthinkable is now all the country is thinking about: Donald Trump will soon be sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Even Trump’s most ardent supporters aren’t sure what comes next, although they’re thrilled by the very uncertainty that terrifies Democrats and the elites the president-elect so often railed against. "The country should be freaked out, because Trump picked the scab. He picked the scab off the media, he picked the scab off the political establishment and revealed a lot of things that people probably weren't aware of, but now they are,” said Joe Griffin, a New Hampshire resident who attended more than a dozen Trump rallies and attended his victory party at the Hilton Midtown. “It’s okay if we bleed a little bit. This country just needed a change.”

 

A POTENTIAL TRUMP CABINET: President-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the more eclectic and controversial presidential cabinets in modern history (Politico). Trumpworld has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector whenever possible. That’s why the Trump campaign is seriously considering Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, as a top contender for Interior secretary, or donor and Goldman Sachs veteran Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. He’s also expected to reward the band of surrogates who stood by him during the bruising presidential campaign including Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, all of whom are being considered for top posts. A handful of Republican politicians may also make the cut including Sen. Bob Corker for secretary of State or Sen. Jeff Sessions for secretary of Defense.

 

LUCAS OR PALIN AT INTERIOR? Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, is seen as a top contender for Interior Secretary (Politico). Trump’s presidential transition team is also eyeing venture capitalist Robert Grady, a George H. W. Bush White House official with ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., is said to be interested in the job. Meanwhile, a person who spoke to the Trump campaign told POLITICO that the aides have also discussed tapping Sarah Palin for Interior Secretary. Trump has said he’d like to put Palin in his Cabinet, and Palin has made no secret of her interest.

 

EXIT POLLING SHOWS REPUDIATION OF CLINTON: Many observers thought this presidential election would be decided by Donald Trump’s polarizing rhetoric, his history of behavior toward women and his questionable qualifications for the office (CBS News). Instead, CBS News exit polls suggest Trump’s win was in large part a repudiation of Hillary Clinton by a substantial number of white voters. While Clinton did win big majorities of minority voters, she did not get the level of support from those groups that she needed to overcome her deficit among white voters. There are also indications that Clinton’s gender was a factor in the outcome. The gender gap was substantial. Trump beat Clinton by 53 percent to 41 percent among men while Clinton won among women by 54 percent to 42 percent. Four years ago, President Obama won 45 percent of men’s votes and Mitt Romney won 44 percent of women’s votes. More telling is the gender breakdown among white voters: Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent. This was close to Romney’s margin in 2012. While Mr. Obama won 35 percent of white, male voters in 2012, Clinton lost to Trump among this group by 63 percent to 31 percent. As expected, Trump did best among white voters without a college degree, beating Clinton by the enormous margin of 72 percent to 23 percent. Trump also won among white, non-college women 62 to 34 percent and white college-educated men, 54 to 39 percent. Among white voters, Clinton only won among women with a college degree by a 51 to 45 percent margin. Interestingly, among white voters, there is no evidence in the exit poll that income affected the likelihood that they supported Trump.

 

TRUMP STORMS BLUE WALL: Donald Trump on Tuesday eviscerated a piece of conventional wisdom that had become demographic and Democratic gospel in recent cycles: that blue states will always be blue states (CNN). That bedrock belief, which Republicans and Democrats had shorthanded to "the Blue Wall," was torn asunder as Trump romped through a series of Great Lakes states that had been Democratic cornerstones for decades. A trio of reliably Democratic states won by Trump, or with a Trump lead as of Wednesday morning -- Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- were never assumed to be a given, but every Clinton path to the White House took the Blue Wall as the starting point for any path by Hillary Clinton to 270 electoral votes. A fourth, Minnesota, showed just a slim lead for Clinton, and was too close to call by Wednesday morning. The 18 states and the District of Columbia that have supported Democrats for president since 1992 gave Democrats 242 electoral votes -- placing Clinton only 28 votes away from clinching the nomination. Analysts on both sides of the aisle spent most of the past months devising the path of least resistance for obtaining that margin. Tuesday made that exercise a fool's errand. Trump outright won two of the three -- Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- and leads narrowly in the third, Michigan. The last time Republicans won in Wisconsin? 1984. The last time they won Michigan? 1988.

 

OBAMA LEGACY REBUKED: President Barack Obama said his legacy was on the ballot. His legacy lost on Tuesday night (Politico). Donald Trump’s election was a stinging rebuke for the president who pushed through transformational reforms on healthcare, Wall Street and the environment. And, especially for Democrats, it was all the more confounding given that his approval rating has rarely been higher — “paradoxical,” as former Obama strategist David Axelrod described it early Wednesday morning. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, both she and Obama gambled that tethering her agenda to his rebounding personal popularity would help seal the progress he spent eight years battling for. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” Obama told a gathering of black leaders in September.

 

TRUMP TO TAKE STAND IN TRUMP U. FRAUD CASE: Before Donald Trump raises his right hand to take the oath of office in January, he’s set for a less-auspicious swearing-in: taking the witness stand in his own defense in a federal court civil trial over alleged fraud in his Trump University real estate seminar program (Politico). Trump faces a legal ordeal no president-elect has ever encountered: juggling defending himself before a jury with preparing for the vast challenges a political novice will face in assuming the presidency. And the class-action case set for trial the Monday after Thanksgiving is just one of a plethora of lawsuits and threatened suits Trump was entangled in during the campaign—litigation that doesn’t seem likely to disappear anytime soon and might even intensify with Trump headed to the White House.

 

PUTIN CONGRATULATES TRUMP: Russian President Vladimir Putin formally congratulated Donald Trump on his shock victory in the U.S. presidential election, the Kremlin said Wednesday (NBC News). Putin said he hoped "for cooperation in ending a crisis in Russian-American relations," according to the text of the message, which was available on the Kremlin website. Trump's victory was an opportunity to build "a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington on the principles of equality, mutual respect and real consideration for each other's position," Putin said in a telegram, his preferred method of communicating with newly elected leaders.

 

WORLD REACTS TO ‘END OF AN ERA’:  As the nail-biting election extended into early Wednesday, the rest of the world was contemplating the reality of President Donald Trump in the White House (NBC News). Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government said the geopolitical situation was "very uncertain." "We're realizing now that we have no idea what this American president will do if the voice of anger enters office and the voice of anger becomes the most powerful man in the world," Norbert Roettgen, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and head of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, said on Deutschlandfunk radio. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud foretold of a new world order. "After Brexit and this election, everything from now on is possible," Araud tweeted. "A world is collapsing before our eyes. Vertigo." "It's the end of an era, that of neoliberalism. What will succeed it, is yet to be known," Araud said in another tweet. Both tweets were later deleted.

 

BREXIT FORESHADOWED TRUMP UPSET:  While Donald Trump's presidential victory left pundits and pollsters flabbergasted, some experts have suggested that the foreshocks of this political earthquake were apparent months ago, thousands of miles across the Atlantic (NBC News). Just like the U.S. race, Britain's "Brexit" referendum saw voters reject an establishment campaign that for months had led in the polls. What tripped up the pollsters during the U.K. vote was an unexpectedly high turnout among white working-class voters. Many people within this demographic said they were angry with a complacent political establishment for putting a project of globalization and immigration ahead of their communities. Although hows and whys of the U.S. presidential vote will be analyzed for months, the NBC News Exit Poll suggested these same grievances formed some of the main drivers of Hillary Clinton's crushing loss. "Undeniably Brexit was a foreshadowing of what happened in the U.S. last night," Ben Page, chief executive of British pollster IPSOS Mori, told NBC News on Wednesday.

 

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION WEBSITE CRASHES: The Canadian government website for immigration crashed Tuesday night as Americans on both side of the political divide experienced anxiety over the presidential election. And Google reported web search terms like “Canada immigration” spiked as the GOP candidate did unexpectedly well in the presidential election (CBS News). The website cic.gc.ca went to a 500 Internal Server Error throughout the night Tuesday and into the early hours on Wednesday.  There was no answer at the Canadian Immigration Services headquarters late Tuesday, so it’s unknown if the website’s outage is related to nerves from Americans on either side of the political divide.



Congress

 

REPUBLICANS KEEP U.S. SENATE: Republicans maintained control of the Senate on Tuesday, fending off numerous Democratic challengers who polls showed were leading going into Election Day, as incumbents were pulled along by Donald J. Trump’s unanticipated strength in several key battleground states (New York Times). Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania made late comebacks to win re-election and to help ensure Republicans retained power. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who insisted a year ago that he would not seek another term and embarked on a failed race for president, defeated his Democratic challenger, Representative Patrick Murphy. Many other incumbents fared well, even in a climate of high voter dissatisfaction with anyone who could be labeled part of the Washington establishment. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican who was considered highly vulnerable when the campaign began, easily won re-election, as did Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Tim Scott of South Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma, all Republicans, also won. In Wisconsin, Mr. Johnson, who had been trailing badly against former Senator Russ Feingold, was aided by an enormous cash infusion from outside groups. Democrats did gain a Senate seat in Illinois with Representative Tammy Duckworth defeating Senator Mark S. Kirk, a Republican. And in Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Representative Joe Heck, retaining the seat for Democrats held by Senator Harry Reid, who is retiring. But they lost their chances at a gain when Evan Bayh, who had served two terms each as governor and senator in the state, lost to Representative Todd Young.

 

DEMS MAKE SMALL INROADS IN HOUSE: Republican as expected also kept control of the House. The GOP entered Election Day with a 59-seat House advantage, so Democrats would have had to gain 30 seats to take control of the chamber. They will instead likely pick up 10 to 20 seats, falling short of majority control (Fox News). “House Republicans won tonight thanks to our members’ relentless focus on the issues important to voters in their districts," said Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.



Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA CALLS TRUMP - President Barack Obama spoke to President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his victory, the White House said in a statement. Obama invited Trump to meet with him at the White House on Thursday to update him on the transition, the statement said (CNN). "Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the President identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the President-elect is the next step," the statement said. Obama will make a statement at the White House later Wednesday on the election results and speak about "what steps we can take as a country to come together after this hard-fought election season."

 

ECONOMY: MARKETS REACT TO TRUMP VICTORY - Investors around the world are reacting with shock to Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election (CNNMoney). Global stock markets are dropping, Mexico's currency has tanked and U.S. stocks are poised for a very rough open. Markets hate uncertainty, and many investors believe Trump's unpredictable nature and anti-trade stance could bring global turmoil. Dow futures were down about 300 points early Wednesday morning, or about 1.5%. At their low point on Tuesday night, Dow futures were down more than 900 points. Nervous investors may have been soothed after Trump called for Americans to unite after the brutal election campaign. "Trump definitely sounded more presidential than he has done at any stage during the election campaign," Kathleen Brooks, a research director at City Index in London, said of his speech. "In fact, one could argue that this outsider has delivered an establishment-style victory speech." Most European stock markets are declining, but the losses are not huge.

 

ECONOMY: MARKETS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT - Banks have almost no idea what he intends to do to them. His statements on Dodd-Frank, Glass-Steagall confused industry (Bloomberg News). Donald Trump, the financial sector hardly knows ye. During the campaign, a group of bankers from around the country -- plane tickets in hand -- were looking forward to meeting the candidate in the flesh at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan. They were going to get a chance to hear from his own mouth what he’d like to do with their industry. But at the last minute, Trump canceled and decided to spend his time elsewhere, so they never got the chance. They weren’t alone. Trump, the apparent president-elect, didn’t spend much time on the campaign trail discussing banks -- not nearly as much as Hillary Clinton did in her primary battle with Bernie Sanders. For Wall Street, which loathes unpredictability, Trump is an absolute wild card. One thing is clear: Traders are nervous about Trump. In anticipation of his victory, U.S. stock futures fell as much as 5 percent and yields on 10-year Treasuries surged the most since Britain voted in June to leave the European Union. Market turmoil eased as news of his win set in.

 

SCOTUS: TRUMP COULD DELIVER REPUBLICAN COURT - Republicans shocked Democrats by keeping control of the Senate, setting the stage for President-elect Donald Trump to enact a broad conservative agenda and ensure a Republican Supreme Court for a generation. That’s provided he can work with a GOP establishment he spent most of the campaign attacking (Bloomberg News). Election night amounted to an almost complete disaster for Senate Democrats in a year when the map greatly favored them -- 10 of 11 battlegrounds were on Republican turf -- and only weeks ago they were hoping that an anti-Trump wave would carry them to the majority.

 

ARIZONA: SHERIFF ARPAIO LOSES - Sheriff Joe Arpaio has conceded defeat to Democrat Paul Penzone in a race that has brought an end to his tenure as "America's toughest sheriff." Arpaio, a Republican, released a statement saying he was disappointed with the results and looking forward to working with Penzone "on a seamless transition." As Maricopa County sheriff, Arpaio became a nationally known political figure with his immigration raids but he ran afoul of the federal courts after he was found to have racially profiled Latinos.



Local

 

GARY SCHOOL REFERENDUM FAILS: With the Gary Community School Corp.'s future as a going concern hanging in the balance, "No" was leading by a razor slim 50-49 percent margin late Tuesday in a general fund referendum question (Post-Tribune). The district is currently carrying a $75 million debt load and without the referendum, the district's finances will get progressively worse. Prior to the vote, school board member Nellie Moore and Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said the state would eventually take action to dissolve the school corporation. Outgoing school board member Antuwan Clemons said the close margin is sending the Indiana General Assembly a strong message that the community supports the district. The referendum would increase the property tax rate by 47.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value, and with a 75 percent collection rate, the referendum could yield as much as $8.7 million annually, officials said. At a September meeting, members of the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board and Jack Martin, the district's financial manager, stressed the importance of passing the referendum in stabilizing the district's financial future.

 

INDY MASS TRANSIT PASSES: Marion County residents went to the polls Tuesday and made their voices heard in a number of key races (WISH-TV). Additionally, they also made their feelings known on Public Question Number 2, which involved funding for mass transit. The question simply asked voters do you want to pay 0.25% more in income taxes to expand bus lines in Marion County? The referendum passed by a count of 59-41, according to the Associated Press. Over the next five years, bus transit is expected to increase by 70 percent throughout Marion County.

 

MARION, HAMILTON SCHOOL REFERENDUMS PASS: Voters in school districts in Marion and Hamilton counties on Tuesday favored hiking their property taxes to increase funds for their public schools (IndyStar). School officials in Washington Township in Marion County and in Westfield Washington Schools in Hamilton County had sought more money to operate their districts with growing enrollments. Washington Township residents voted on two referendums, Westfield residents on one. With 65 of the 70 precincts reporting, "yes" was receiving 70 percent of the vote in  Washington Township. The Westfield referendum was receiving 81 percent of the vote with 148 of 217 precincts reporting.

 

LAKE COMMISSIONER SCHEUB LOSING: Incumbent Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub is anticipated to lose his re-election bid (Post-Tribune). Republican Jerry Tippy, of Schererville, held a narrow lead over Scheub in the 2nd District county commissioner race, according to unofficial vote totals. Tippy said he would like to thank Scheub for his 20 years of service in Lake County and congratulate him on a hard-fought campaign. Tippy would be the first Republican to hold a commissioner's seat since the late Ernie Niemeyer, whom Scheub replaced on the board.

 

BIGGS LEADING IN PORTER COMMISSIONER RACE: Porter County voters selected commissioners and at-large council members on their ballot, as well as a treasurer and surveyor during Tuesday's general election (Post-Tribune). With 87 of 123 precincts reporting, Republican Jim Biggs, a member of the County Council running for the north district seat on the Board of Commissioners, had a clear lead over Democrat Jeffrey Chidester, that party's chair for the county, according to unofficial vote totals. The County Council appeared to lose its Democratic majority as Republican Jeff Larson held a solid lead over incumbent Bob Poparad, a Democrat, according to unofficial vote totals. The treasurer's race was too close to call, with Democrat Michelle Clancy, the incumbent, and Republican Chuck Harris, the county coroner, trading the top spot throughout the evening.

 

GOP SWEEP IN HOWARD COUNTY RACES: Howard County Republicans dominated the ballot Tuesday with well-established victories in every local race (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). In the race for auditor, incumbent Martha Lake dominated her Democratic rival Jacquelyn Thomas-Miller, winning 24,311 votes (66.59 percent). Thomas-Miller garnered only 12,199 votes (33.41 percent). It was a similar story for treasurer. Incumbent Weston Reed, who was appointed as interim treasurer in May, took 22,808 votes (63.94 percent). Democrat Ed Foster came in well behind those numbers, winning only 12,863 votes (36.06 percent). Republican Steven Seele ran unopposed for county coroner, as did Dave Duncan for county surveyor. Howard County GOP Chairman Craig Dunn said he wasn’t surprised Republicans won every local race on the ballot.

 

INCUMBENTS EASILY WIN WAYNE COUNTY RACES: Two incumbent clerks in Wayne County easily won their races Tuesday to retain their jobs, even though both were running for election for the first time (Truitt, Richmond Palladium-Item). Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry and Hagerstown Clerk-Treasurer Julie Neal have been serving in their roles after being appointed to the jobs. Berry was made the Wayne County clerk in 2014 after the resignation of JoAnn Stewart, while Neal has been on the job for less than a year, taking over for Nick Jarrett.

 

DEMOCRATS SWEEP VIGO COUNTY AT-LARGE SEATS: Democrats captured the three at-large county council seats up for grabs Tuesday night, bringing new voices to the board that oversees the county's budget (Hedrick, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Brendan Kearns, Aaron Loudermilk and Jim Mann were declared the winners in the six-way race, according to unofficial results.

 

GOOD NIGHT TO BE A REPUBLICAN IN DAVIESS: A heavy voter turnout translated into a successful night for Republicans in Daviess County (Grant, Washington Times-Herald). Daviess is overwhelmingly Republican and those voters showed up and gave wins to all the seats up for grabs. Daviess County Democrats were able to mount challenges for six of the nine races on the local ballot. The party had put together challenges under the idea of giving voters a choice in November. The voters opted to stay with the Republican majority. "It is a good night to be a Republican in Daviess County," said County Republican Party Chairman Jan Schuler-Hicks. "Our candidates ran as a team. They worked together well. I think it shows the voters believe Republicans are good stewards of their tax dollars."

 

MARTIN INCUMBENTS RECLAIM SEATS: Martin County will see few changes after incumbents reclaimed most of their seats in Tuesday's election (Owens, Washington Times-Herald).  In the District 1 commissioner's race, Republican incumbent Kevin Boyd, 2,732 votes (57.87 percent) defeated Democrat Eric Cooper 1,989 (42.13 percent). Republican incumbent Dan Gregory claimed 2,793 votes, or 59.68 percent of the vote, in race for District 3 commissioner over Brian George with 1,887 votes (40.32 percent). Republican Warren Albright, 2,743 votes (23.84 percent) and Democrat Richard Summers 2,237 votes (19.44 percent) maintained their seats for county council at-large, while Republican Keith Gibson 2,190 votes (19.03 percent) defeated incumbent Democrat Floyd Hawkins by 66 votes. Also running was Republican Marty Tarrh 1,418 votes and Democrat Derek Harrell 794 votes.