Stoops Announces Plans to Replace Vi Simpson
Monroe County Commissioner Mark Stoops Thursday became the first Democrat to officially declare his candidacy to replace Vi Simpson in the Indiana Senate.
Mark Stoops sought to position himself as a liberal standard-bearer in the mold of Vi Simpson, who’s been an outspoken critic of the Mitch Daniels administration while she’s been Senate Minority Leader. Stoops, an outspoken critic of Interstate 69, says he’d use a position in the state senate to dig into state documents relating to the planning and construction of the road.
During a 15-minute speech, Stoops listed a wide range of issues he’d defend, from school funding to union rights to gay marriage. It was unclear if that last point was a shot at Bloomington State Representative Peggy Welch, who many legislative analysts see as another possible entrant into this race. After the speech, Stoops began to talk about Welch’s time and votes in the state House before cutting himself off and saying he’d decided he didn’t want to talk about Welch, who is not officially in the race and hasn’t said whether she’ll run.
Stoops says he has already begun fundraising and attempting to tie up votes from Monroe County Democrats who will vote in the caucus. That vote will happen sometime after the Democratic state convention, where Simpson will be named as the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor. After that, state party chairman Dan Parker will decide when to hold a vote among party insiders to determine who takes Simpson’s seat on the ballot against Republican Reid Dallas in the fall.