About the only question in General Assembly elections is whether Republicans will have control of state government or whether they will have absolute control Republican Mike Pence is heavily favored to win the governor’s office. The state Senate is hardly likely to lose its supermajority. And Republicans are within a few seats of winning a House supermajority. If that happens, Democrats will have lost the only tool they had left – staying away to prevent a quorum – to stop Republicans from doing whatever they want.
That might be a factor is some voters’ thinking. But individual races still have to be decided based on district issues and the candidates actually running. For those who want more input, we offer our recommendations:
State Senate, District 16: Incumbent Republican David Long. He has not only represented Fort Wayne’s interests superbly; he has been an able, effective speaker pro-tem. It should make us all proud that one of our own has become such an influential, high-profile conservative. The Democrat is Charles Keen.
State House, District 81: Incumbent Democrat Win Moses. Redistricting has made the 81st very different, more affluent, more educated, slightly more Republican. It’s impressive that Moses knows he has to emphasize different issues now. He faces Republican Martin Carbaugh and Libertarian Alexander Avery.
House, District 82: Republican David Ober over Democrat Mike Wilber. At 25, Ober would be the youngest state representative, but he is far from immature. In fact, he has a sophisticated understanding of the issues, on which he takes sound, fiscally conservative stands.
House District 83: Incumbent Republican Kathy Heuer. She learned quickly in her first term and should become an even better legislator in her second term. Democrat John Good is her opponent.
House District 84: Democrat Lee Jordan, who is a solid, thoughtful candidate. Incumbent Republican Bob Morris spoke so loosely in criticizing Girl Scouts that his own party all but disavowed him. Libertarian James Hanson is also running.
House District 85: Incumbent Republican Phyllis Pond. She’s a “moderate” Republican we’ve disagreed with on some occasions, but she represents her constituents well. She’s opposed by Democrat Evan Smith and the Constitution Party’s Audrey Queckboerner.
Offices should be appointive
The statewide positions of attorney general and superintendent of public instruction are also on the ballot, but they really shouldn’t be. These are offices that cry out to be appointive rather than elective. Given that, there’s no reason to make a change if the incumbents are doing a good job, and Republicans Greg Zoeller in the AG’s office and Tony Bennett in the superintendent’s have been very effective indeed. So Democrats Kay Fleming and Glenda Ritz should seek work elsewhere.