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Indiana Republicans sweep by Democrats in statewide races

Republicans won continued control of the Indiana governor’s office and kept the state in the GOP’s presidential column as voters cast the final ballots Tuesday, with Democrats falling short in other races they targeted in hopes of clawing back to political relevance in the state.

Posted: Nov 4, 2020 11:51 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans won continued control of the Indiana governor’s office and kept the state in the GOP’s presidential column as voters cast the final ballots Tuesday, with Democrats falling short in other races they targeted in hopes of clawing back to political relevance in the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and President Donald Trump both won victories in the state for Republicans, along with the state attorney general’s race where Democrats had made a major push.

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A central Indiana congressional seat that Democrats hoped to win after decades as a GOP bastion was undecided Tuesday night.

A record number of more than 1.7 million voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day as coronavirus health concerns prompted more use of mail-in ballots and early voting sites.

GOVERNOR’S RACE

Holcomb won a second four-year term as governor, easily fending off challengers who criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Holcomb went into his campaign for a second term with a huge fundraising advantage and didn’t face any well-known challengers. Holcomb sidestepped any criticism of Trump even as Holcomb promoted face mask use and issued a statewide mask mandate in July.

Holcomb choked up during his victory speech while thanking his family.

“I am flat-out eager to continue to get ’er done with you over the next four like we’ve done over the last four,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb overcame Democrat Woody Myer, a former state health commissioner who called for tougher anti-virus actions as Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations climbed steeply since nearly all state restrictions were lifted in September.

Myers said in his concession speech that he still believed Indiana “could do more for those who have so little and those who need so much.”

“About two years ago when this journey began, I knew it was a long shot and that the battle was entirely uphill,” Myers said.

Some conservatives called Holcomb’s coronavirus actions excessive and, instead, backed Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater.

Holcomb was lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Mike Pence and replaced Pence as the Republican governor candidate in 2016 after Pence became Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

LINES AND LOTS OF COUNTING

Voters faced long lines at some polling sites across Indiana and election officials said they might need to wait a while to find out results.

Some voters in central Indiana’s Madison County waited in line up to five hours to cast their ballots Tuesday, with long lines remaining after polling sites were scheduled to close at 6 p.m. The county is part of the hotly contested 5th Congressional District.

“We’ve had unprecedented voter turnout, but things haven’t gone exactly as we wanted them to today,” said Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party and president of the county election board.

The county clerk’s office in Indianapolis said Tuesday evening that it had processed about one-quarter of its some 210,000 early votes and that it will likely take the rest of the week before all are counted.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said the record number of mail-in ballots around the state means people might need to be patient while waiting for election results.

“That is perfectly reasonable given the circumstances,” Zody said. “I’m willing to experience a little bit of a delay here if that means all the votes are going to be counted in the right way.”

PRESIDENTIAL VOTING

Trump again won Indiana’s 11 electoral vote as the state remained in the Republican presidential column.

The home state of Vice President Mike Pence wasn’t in much doubt as Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign paid little attention to the state that has gone for Republican candidates in 12 of the last 13 presidential elections.

Trump won Indiana by 19 percentage points in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. Republicans admitted his popularity had eroded in some areas, contributing to a contentious campaign for a longtime GOP-controlled congressional district in suburban Indianapolis that Democrats were trying to capture.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Republican Todd Rokita won the Indiana attorney general’s office, defeating former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel in a race that Democrats had targeted in hopes of winning their first statewide election since 2012.

Rokita’s campaign announced Tuesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms” but was doing well.

Rokita lost the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate primary but started a politcal comeback by defeating current Attorney General Curtis Hill for the GOP nomination after Hill was tarnished by allegations that he drunkenly groped four women during a party.

Rokita cast himself as an unabashed President Donald Trump supporter with an aggressive law-and-order and anti-abortion agenda that will continue Hill’s tactics of joining Republican lawsuits against what they regard as federal overreach, such as the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”

HOT US HOUSE RACE

Indiana’s highest-profile congressional race in years has Republican Victoria Spartz facing Democrat Christina Hale for central Indiana’s 5th District seat following the retirement of current GOP Rep. Susan Brooks.

At least $15 million was sunk into the race, with national party organizations and dark-money groups spending heavily for the district centered on the northern suburbs of Indianapolis that Republicans have controlled for more than five decades.

Spartz won a crowded Republican primary race that largely turned into a contest of loyalty to Trump. But she afterward shifted away from talking about Trump during the general election campaign.

Meanwhile, Democrat Frank Mrvan won election to replace retiring Rep. Pete Visclosky in the party’s 1st District northwestern Indiana stronghold.

The incumbents won reelection for the state’s seven other U.S. House seats.

STATE LEGISLATURE

The top Republican in the Indiana House survived a hotly contested campaign to keep his legislative seat.

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston’s district in the northern Indianapolis suburbs was among a cluster of legislative seats targeted by Democrats as they tried to paint the Republican incumbents as fallen out of step with voters.

Huston was facing voters for the first time since taking over the top legislative position in March from longtime Speaker Brian Bosma.

Huston outspent Democratic challenger Aimee Rivera Cole by at least 5-to-1 in the Fishers district as more than $1.5 million was poured into Huston’s campaign from mostly Republican organizations and business lobbying groups seeking to keep him in the Legislature.

Republicans were likely to retain strong majorities in both the Indiana House and Senate, but Democrats were trying to break the two-thirds GOP supermajority in the House that gives them total control over legislative action.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 46°
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Huntington
Cloudy
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Hi: 57° Lo: 47°
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Sunshine and warmer air return to round out the work week, but the warm-up is brief.
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