Delph Unseated in Carmel, but Most Statehouse Races Produce Little Change

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Delph Unseated in Carmel, but Most Statehouse Races Produce Little Change

Two House seats in limbo due to battles over Porter County vote count; Schererville race too close to call

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Not much change in the lineup at the statehouse, but one prominent legislator is out of a job.

Carmel's Mike Delph, one of the Senate's most vocal conservatives, lost a rematch with J.D. Ford. Ford's the first Democrat to flip a Senate seat in 20 years, though Republicans retain a 40-10 supermajority.

The final margin in the House isn't clear yet, with Democrats holding on to a slim hope of breaking the six-year Republican supermajority there. Democrats claimed one seat in Lafayette, with Chris Campbell defeating Republican Representative Sally Siegrist. But two Lake County races remained too close to call. Democrat Chris Chyung clung to a 66-vote lead over Schererville Representative Hal Slager, while Crown Point Representative Julie Olthoff trailed Democrat Lisa Beck by 484 votes.

Olthoff's district also includes part of Porter County, where Democrats held out hopes Frank Szczepanski could upset Valparaiso Representative Ed Soliday. But Porter County's vote count has been delayed by court battles triggered when some precincts opened hours late and others had absentee ballots delivered late, leading to disputes over which votes should be counted and whether precincts should be allowed to stay open late.

Democrats would need to win all three northwest Indiana districts to break the supermajority, giving the party more leverage to hold up legislative business by denying Republicans a quorum.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and Auditor Tera Klutz all coasted to landslide reelections. Libertarian Mark Rutherford's 3% of the vote in the secretary of state's race assured the party of its automatic ballot slot for another four years.

Indiana elected two new Republican congressmen in Greencastle State Rep. Jim Baird and Greg Pence, the brother of Vice President Mike Pence. Baird and Pence fill the seats vacated by fellow Republicans Todd Rokita and Luke Messer's unsuccessful bids for the Senate. The seven incumbent House members on the ballot all won reelection easily.

(Photo: Rudy Balasko/Thinkstock)

 

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