Governor, Senate, Right To Hunt: Here’s What Hoosiers Are Voting On
By Mike Perleberg
(Left to right) Indiana Gubernatorial candidates John Gregg, Eric Holcomb, and Rex Bell. Photo by Associated Press, Indiana Debate Commission.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Whether they are happy or not with their options for President of the United State of America, Southeast Indiana voters have to settle many other important races and issues that will affect their lives this Election Day.
Case in point, Indiana’s governor race. Republicans have held the office for 12 years. In a race in which the margin may be razor-thin, Democratic former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg is aiming to defeat Republican Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb and Libertarian Rex Bell. The winner will succeed current Governor Mike Pence, who bowed out of his re-election bid in July in order to join Donald Trump on the presidential ticket.
Indiana’s U.S. Senate race will be closely watched as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the chamber in Washington. Republican Congressman Todd Young, Democrat Evan Bayh and Libertarian Lucy Brenton are vying for the seat being vacated by Dan Coats. Outside sources have pumped nearly $40 million into the race. Bayh, a former governor and U.S. Senator, has never lost an election.
(Left to right) Indiana U.S. Senate candidates Evan Bayh, Todd Young, and Lucy Brenton. Photo by Michael Conroy, The Associated Press.
Education has been a particularly large issue for Indiana voters this election season. Democratic State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who pulled off an upset win against school reform-minded Tony Bennett four years ago, will attempt to win re-election against Republican Yorktown Community School Corporation Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.
The race for Indiana’s next top lawman happens in the state attorney general race. Republican Curtis Hill and Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo are running to replace outgoing two-term attorney general Greg Zoeller, a Republican.
Every Hoosier voter will also be asked whether or not to approve a new amendment to the Indiana Constitution. Public Question 1 concerns the proposed amendment which would “provide that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good”. A “yes” vote on question will pass the amendment, while a “no” vote will defeat it.
FIND INDIANA ELECTION RESULTS ON OUR INDIANA VOTES 2016 PAGE.
Luke Messer, U.S. Congressman for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District stretching from Madison to Muncie, is a safe bet to win re-election Tuesday. Even though he made only a few appearances throughout the district this campaign season, Messer is well funded. Democratic opponent and retired minister Barry Welsh, who told the Muncie Star Press last week he believes he is “going to win this thing and shock the whole country”, has raised only about $4,600. Libertarian Rich Turvey is a longshot.
Democrats are attempting to increase their presence in the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives. Currently, Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers, meaning Democrats don’t even have to be present for GOP lawmakers to vote on and pass legislation.
Four House races in southeast Indiana could help tilt the balance, but Democrats haven’t demonstrated any success in recent years. In Indiana House District 68, Republican incumbent Randy Lyness of West Harrison is challenged by Democrat Jake Hoog of Sunman. Lyness’ predecessor, Jud McMillin, won the seat in a 70 percent to 30 percent landslide in 2014.
House District 67’s race pits firmly established incumbent Randy Frye of Greensburg against Dearborn County Democrat Rudy Howard. It is the first contested re-election Frye has faced since 2012 when Aurora’s Tom Cheek narrowly lost, 58 percent to 42 percent.
Indiana House District 67 candidates Randy Frye (left) and Rudy Howard. Photos by Travis Thayer, Eagle Country 99.3.
In House District 55, Republican incumbent State Representative Cindy Zeimke of Batesville is opposed by Democrat Mimi Pruett. Zeimke has gained more than 60 percent of the vote in past elections in 2012 and 2014.
In southeast Indiana’s only state Senate race, longtime Republican lawmaker Jean Leising is being challenged by Democrat Randy Howard. Leising was unopposed in her last election four years ago.
Eagle Country 99.3 will be covering each of these races on election night. Listen in starting at 7:00 p.m. for live results from Dearborn, Franklin, Ripley, Ohio and Switzerland counties.