New Indiana legislators coming to Statehouse

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – We’re just days away from Organization Day at the Statehouse.

Now that Election Day is over, what’s the new makeup of lawmakers?

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday, “I’m very excited about this upcoming budget session, legislative session. There will be some new faces, some new backgrounds. I’m looking forward to meeting some that I’ve not met yet in the Statehouse.”

Indiana’s Republican Party spokesperson, Pete Seat, there are eight new GOP House members. According to Indiana’s House Republican website, the new legislators are:

  • Ethan Manning, Denver, House District 23.
  • Chuck Goodrich, Noblesville, House District 29.
  • John Prescott, Union City, House District 33.
  • Beau Baird, Greencastle,, House District 44.
  • Christy Stutzman, Middlebury, House District 49.
  • Bradford Barrett, Richmond, House District 56.
  • Ryan Lauer, Columbus, House District 59.
  • Matt Hostettler, Fort Branch, House District 64.

Seat also said there are several new state Republican senators. According to the Indiana Senate Republicans website, they are: 

  • Justin Busch, Fort Wayne, Senate District 16.
  • Chris Garten, Charlestown, Senate District 45.
  • Mike Gaskill, Pendleton, Senate District 26.
  • Linda Rogers, Granger, Senate District 11.

Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party said, “There will be new blood in there, which is always great. But, I think you’ll see a continuation of good strong fiscal policy and conservative values.”

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said, “We are certainly disappointed we didn’t re-elect (U.S.) Sen. Joe Donnelly.”

“But, across the state, we had wins locally and we’re also glad to be sending some new members to the General Assembly,” Zody said.

Zody said Democrats have eight new House members. According to the Indiana Senate Democrats website, those new legislators are: 

  • Carolyn B. Jackson, Hammond, House District 1.
  • Ragen Hatcher, Gary, House District 3.
  • Patricia A. “Pat” Boy, Michigan City, House District 9.
  • Chris Chyung, Dyer, House District 15.
  • Lisa Beck, Crown Point, House District 19.
  • Chris Campbell, West Lafayette, House District 26.
  • Tonya Pfaff, Terre Haute, House District 43.
  • Rita Fleming, Jeffersonville, House District 71.

Zody said Democrats also have one new state senator, J.D. Ford of Indianapolis. He will serve Senate District 29.

That’s a total increase of four seats for Democrats, the state party leader said.

“There’s still technically a supermajority. We got closer to breaking that supermajority in the House.”

In the House and Senate, Zody said, Democrats want to get a hate crime law passed in 2019. In recent days, Gov. Holcomb said he’d make it one of his priorities.

“We’re hopeful,” Zody said. “We’re glad the governor has decided to make it a priority after Democrats have been pushing for it for some time. It needs to happen.” 

The Republican Party chairman, “The governor’s out in front on this, in a strong position,”

Hupfer said, “We’ll see where the legislature goes. But, there’s been a lot of support in the past over hate crimes legislation. It’s just ‘what is the language?’ ‘What does it say?'”

The Republican governor said he wants to focus 2019 on strengthening Indiana’s economy, skilling up the workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic, and infrastructure

“How we continue to connect with ourselves and the rest of the country and the world through our infrastructure programs,” Holcomb said.

Its a platform state GOP leaders said works with many Hoosier voters who voted to keep the Super majority.

“They like the path the state’s on,” Hupfer explained. “It’s on the right track that Republicans have been delivering results for Hoosiers for well over 14 years now of Republican governors.”

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