Ind. House Dems May Remove Leader
Rep. Pat Bauer
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – The Indiana Statehouse’s top Democrat may lose his title if party members choose not to support him Thursday.
State Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) is the House Minority Leader. He had been the majority leader since 2003 until Democrats lost their House majority in the 2010 election.
Instead of focusing on Republican opponents in the upcoming November election, Democrats are instead targeting their own party. Members of the party caucus are reported to be meeting in Lafayette Thursday afternoon to vote on whether to keep Bauer as their leader.
More than half of the 40 House Democrats must attend the meeting and vote to remove Bauer as their leader. A similar meeting planned for July 13 was unable to be organized.
Bauer, 68, told the Indianapolis Star he will not step down and will not recognize a no confidence vote. He said he will not attend the meeting.
“It’s an illegal, unnecessary, devastating move and I don’t think I should condone it as a leader of this caucus. It’s not good for our party and it’s not good for the institution,” he told reporters during a Wednesday press conference.
Bauer added that he believes he – short, pudgy and donning a toupee – is also being targeted because of his appearance.
Party members widely admit that the timing of the possible leadership change is not the best, with just four months until an election in which Democrats will be trying to regain a majority in the House.
If Bauer – a 42 year veteran of the legislature – is removed, the leadership position could go to Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City).