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OPEN ITEM – Which Indiana Legislators are Most Conservative?

In a state as conservative as Indiana it can be hard to be more conservative than the next legislator. Well, for the first time the American Conservative Union has taken a crack at evaluating Indiana’s state legislators with a view toward identifying legislators whose rhetoric matches their voting record.

This year the ACU identified four legislators who maintained a 100% record during the 2013 legislative session. Senator Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) was the only member of the upper chamber to garner a 100% record while Representatives Peggy Mayfield (R-Moorseville), Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), and Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute) all maintained a perfect record in the House.

In addition to these four legislators the ACU also recognized legislators who were in line with their key votes 80% or more of the time – and this group actually constitutes a majority of each chamber, with 26 senators and 51 representatives recognized as “ACU Conservatives.”

It is interesting to note that not a single legislator in either chamber was recognized as a “True Liberal” for having voted against the ACU position on every single key vote. You can read the entire ACU report on Indiana’s legislators here.

In other news the deadline to file for the primary elections as come and gone and the field has been set for primary. The biggest surprises have come from up north, where there has been a great deal of action this election. There were concerted efforts by supporters of HJR 3 to recruit candidates to run against incumbents who helped eliminate the marriage amendment’s “second sentence.” of HJR 3. Those efforts netted two candidates, but they’re both in Representative Kathy Heuer’s (R-Columbia City) district. Representatives Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) and Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) will not face primary challenges this election cycle.

Another surprise came in House District 84 where Representative Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) was looking at three potential challengers in the upcoming primary. One candidate failed to file and another decided to not file and endorsed the remaining challenger. Fort Wayne business owner and venture capitalist Mark Hagar sent an email to supporters in support of Fort Wayne attorney Michael Barranda:

I sought this position because I felt that the 84th District was under-represented at the State House and my ambition was to assure better representation going forward. Michael (Barranda) is exactly the type of representative I want for the 84th District and I encourage you to join me in supporting his campaign.

Editor Matt Brinkman will be profiling the HD 84 race this week in a delayed edition of our Candidate Monday feature later this week. Be sure to send us your suggestions for future races that are worth a closer look!

This post was tagged under: 2014 Election, Elections, General Assembly, Indiana House, Indiana Politics, Indiana Primary, Indiana Republicans, Indiana Senate, Jim Banks

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