By Courtney Essett
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana voters flocked to the polls with determination on Tuesday to have their say in the state’s and country’s political future. With the economy still up in the air and many hot ticket issues like property tax caps and school referendums on the ballots, voters crossed their fingers and cast their ballots.
Entering the election, Republicans needed 39 seats in order to take control of the House of Representatives and this year’s race looked as if Indiana was going to elect a large number of Republicans to office.
In the U.S. Senate Race, Republican Dan Coats took an early lead over Democrat Brad Ellsworth and Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris. The race for secretary of state began much the same way with Republican Charlie White in the lead over Democrat Vop Osili and Libertarian Mike Wherry.
Republican Todd Rokita took an early lead and is headed to Washington as Indiana’s next U.S. Representative from District 4. Just two hours after polls closed he was winning by more than 40 percent over Democrat David Sanders and Libertarian John Duncan. Accompanying Rokita are fellow Republicans Dan Burton and Mike Pence, all with early victory declarations.
In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andre Carson kept his seat, maintaining a comfortable lead over Republican Marvin Scott and Libertarian Dave Wilson. Republican Todd Young took Democratic incumbent Baron Hill’s seat in District 9. Carson will have company from second district Democrat Joe Donnelly who edged out Republican Jackie Walorski in a tight race.
Republicans also ran away with the other state office positions in the election. Tim Berry, the Republican candidate for auditor, was victorious over Democrat Sam Locke, and Republican Richard Mourdouck won his bid for treasurer over Democrat Pete Buttigieg.
Preliminary exit polls showed that a large number of voters were dissatisfied with the current government and were therefore casting their ballots to send different decision makers to Washington in order to elicit change.