BREAKING NEWS : One teen dead, second injured in Steuben County crash Full Story

New in power, Indiana House leader faces tough election race

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston is trying to hold onto his suburban Indianapolis district that’s shifted away from reliably Republican as he faces his first election since March, when he took over the powerful position that controls much of the General Assembly’s action.

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 9:44 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Big money has been pouring in for a closing days rush to protect the legislative seat for one of the top Republicans in the Indiana Statehouse.

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston is trying to hold onto his suburban Indianapolis district that’s shifted away from reliably Republican as he faces his first election since March, when he took over the powerful position that controls much of the General Assembly’s action.

SIGN UP FOR OUR BREAKING NEWS ALERTS

Download the FOX 55 Severe Weather Center App on Apple

Download the FOX 55 Severe Weather Center App on Android 

Huston’s seat is among those being targeted by Democrats as they look to break the two-thirds supermajority House Republicans have had for the past eight years.

Republicans will almost assuredly keep a sizeable House majority, but GOP organizations and business lobbying groups have written checks for more than $350,000 to Huston’s campaign just since the beginning of October, state campaign finance reports show.

That pushes his bankroll past $1.2 million as he faces Democratic challenger Aimee Rivera Cole, who received 46% of the vote against Huston two years ago.

That Fishers district is among a cluster of legislative seats across the northern Indianapolis suburbs that Democrats are working to seize, potentially benefiting from the national shift of suburban woman away from Republicans under President Donald Trump that has also led to a tight campaign for the area’s congressional seat.

Huston has spent heavily on Indianapolis TV advertising, saying “This is not a year to not take every possible consideration.” He said he also tries not to wade into debates over national politics.

“I say ‘I’ve got all the same frustrations with the federal government as you do, but that’s not my role,’” Huston said. “My role is to help and put the state on a good path.”

Cole and Democratic candidates in nearby suburban districts have tried to paint the Republican incumbents as fallen out of step with voters.

In a black-and-white TV commercial styled on a 1950s comedy, Huston and Rep. Jerry Torr of Carmel are labeled as “wrong for today’s Hamilton County” over votes on gay rights and abortion.

Cole, who is a lawyer for Travelers Insurance Co., said she has heard from voters that defeating Huston would demonstrate the frustration some people have over education funding and other issues.

“I do think it would send a pretty strong message,” Cole said. “All of these races being so close in this area send a message that values that are important to us aren’t being adequately represented.”

About a dozen of the 100 Indiana House seats appear most targeted by the political parties in Tuesday’s election.

Besides Huston and Torr, Democrats are also trying to defeat Rep. Donna Schaibley in a northern suburb district and Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer on the east side of Indianapolis.

Close outcomes are possible for South Bend-area seats currently held by GOP Rep. Dale Devon and Democratic Rep. Ross Deal, along with Republican Rep. Martin Carbaugh in Fort Wayne.

But state Republicans are using a massive fundraising advantage to go after several Democratic legislators. Between the legislative campaign committees and the state party organizations, Republicans had raised about $12 million through the end of October to roughly $5 million for Democrats.

Two Democrats in northwestern Indiana’s Lake County — Lisa Beck and Chris Chyung — are facing rematches for GOP legislators they narrowly defeated in 2018. Republicans also are looking to unseat Reps.

Terri Austin and Melanie Wright from Anderson-area districts and 10-term Rep. Terry Goodin, who is the last Democrat from the rural southern Indiana districts that were a party stronghold until the last decade.

Republicans are poised to retain a commanding state Senate majority, which is 40-10 heading into the election.

Both parties are spending heavily in the northern Indianapolis district which Republican Sen. John Ruckelshaus is defending against Democrat Fady Qaddoura, a former top aide to Mayor Joe Hogsett.

With Republicans holding a 67-33 House majority, Democrats need to pick up at least one seat to end the two-thirds supermajority that allows Republicans to take legislative action even if Democrats aren’t in attendance.

Huston, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2012, became the House speaker after Republican Brian Bosma stepped down from the position he held for the past decade.

Huston’s campaign ads tout state funding for highway projects in his suburban districts and his work with Holcomb, the Republican governor, to attract businesses to the state. In an ad targeting Cole, she’s described as a “risk Fishers can’t afford to take” as she is linked to national Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

Huston said he believed Republicans had a strong message about the state’s direction and believed they would keep a strong majority in the House.

But when asked how difficult it would be to suffer an election loss just after becoming speaker, Huston replied: “I’m not going to think about that because it’s not a productive thing to think about. I’m doing everything that I can to make it not reality.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 658043

Reported Deaths: 12467
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion902221628
Lake48163871
Allen35614632
Hamilton31884394
St. Joseph29615510
Elkhart25291412
Vanderburgh21148377
Tippecanoe19815197
Johnson16262353
Porter15867268
Hendricks15744297
Clark11860179
Madison11688315
Vigo11520228
Monroe10267158
Delaware9800178
LaPorte9725194
Howard9024194
Kosciusko8519107
Bartholomew7394147
Warrick7380147
Hancock7379128
Floyd7149165
Wayne6597189
Grant6406157
Morgan6044124
Boone604188
Dubois5876111
Dearborn541266
Henry539892
Marshall5397104
Cass538999
Noble507575
Jackson462663
Shelby458890
Lawrence4161111
Gibson400581
Harrison395960
Clinton393353
DeKalb382878
Montgomery382883
Miami355163
Knox354484
Whitley347235
Huntington339276
Steuben336355
Wabash329575
Putnam326559
Ripley325261
Adams320749
Jasper313643
White295651
Jefferson293270
Daviess284496
Fayette270555
Decatur269688
Greene260278
Posey260031
Wells256074
Scott248947
LaGrange240270
Clay239444
Randolph225076
Spencer216130
Jennings214044
Washington208727
Sullivan202239
Fountain200641
Starke186450
Owen181652
Fulton177437
Jay177328
Carroll175718
Perry172635
Orange170450
Rush164222
Vermillion159040
Franklin158435
Tipton145641
Parke138415
Pike127232
Blackford120327
Pulaski106243
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91213
Crawford90113
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren74712
Union66810
Ohio52811
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 959995

Reported Deaths: 17045
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1111071193
Cuyahoga945941709
Hamilton72643947
Montgomery46983875
Summit39720942
Butler35094460
Lucas34829757
Stark29061835
Warren22166270
Lorain21781386
Mahoning19282537
Lake18210300
Clermont18200206
Delaware16289129
Licking14832197
Fairfield14401156
Trumbull14171455
Greene13481211
Medina13220219
Clark12139333
Wood11411193
Portage10870153
Allen10715232
Richland10184205
Miami9954179
Columbiana8052179
Muskingum8046123
Tuscarawas7984235
Pickaway796798
Marion7944135
Wayne7799217
Erie6803183
Ross6083136
Geauga5996129
Hancock5945110
Scioto5886105
Ashtabula5884143
Lawrence520373
Union506552
Darke5013122
Belmont483987
Sandusky473393
Jefferson4726107
Huron4722117
Seneca4624103
Athens457331
Mercer4570101
Auglaize454498
Washington452186
Shelby439167
Knox398584
Putnam3967101
Madison389147
Ashland375495
Fulton375364
Defiance3682102
Brown367842
Crawford355396
Preble351070
Logan350158
Clinton336862
Highland324455
Ottawa319667
Williams299777
Jackson287756
Guernsey284034
Champaign283145
Fayette266343
Perry265943
Morrow257224
Henry243665
Holmes2420104
Hardin241957
Coshocton230847
Van Wert227849
Gallia219846
Adams213732
Pike212825
Wyandot207952
Hocking192248
Carroll178928
Paulding158023
Meigs133836
Noble128142
Monroe115336
Morgan99734
Harrison99632
Vinton76515
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 24°
Angola
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 19°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 23°
Fort Wayne
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 24°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 30°
Warmer Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events