More than quarter of the Democratic members of the Indiana House aren't trying for re-election this year, further boosting the chances of Republicans strengthening their hold on the chamber. Most of the 12 House Democrats had announced their decisions before Friday's filing deadline for the May primary. They were joined by Rep. Chet Dobis of Merrillville, who is ending a 42-year legislative career rather than run against fellow Democrat Vernon Smith of Gary after majority Republicans put their homes in the same election district during last year's redistricting. Democrats controlled the House for most of the past two decades, but Republicans gained a 60-40 majority in the 2010 election and put many Democrats in tougher districts. Seven House Republicans aren't running again, but they are mostly from solidly GOP districts.