Candidates hit the road on last leg of 2014 races

State candidates are increasing their public appearances with just a few weeks left before voters hit the polls next month.

Auditor Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Treasurer candidate Kelly Mitchell running at the top of the Republican Party ticket are departing on a statewide "Experience and Transparency" bus tour Tuesday and Wednesday to promote early voting.

They will join other party leaders at the Republican Party's annual fall fundraiser in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday night.

For the Democratic Party, Secretary of State candidate Beth White and Auditor Mike Claytor spent the weekend campaigning together in southern Indiana.

The 2014 cycle has not attracted nearly the attention of the campaigns two years ago, which saw grueling, expensive battles for a U.S. Senate seat and the governor's office. This time, three statewide offices, all 100 state House seats and 25 state Senate seats are up for grabs.

The Republicans are trying to maintain control of the offices of auditor, treasurer and secretary of state, as well as supermajorities in the House and Senate.

Democrats have found some traction thanks to a series of scandals in the Statehouse. Claytor has been touring the state with his "Cost of Corruption" tour, arguing that scandals have shaken the public trust in state leaders.

Former Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett was fined $5,000 this past July for campaigning with state resources in his failed 2012 re-election bid. House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, R-Cicero, announced he would resign his seat if re-elected in November following reports on his efforts to protect his lucrative family nursing home business. A former Indiana Department of Transportation official, Troy Woodruff, was cleared of wrongdoing this past summer, following close to four years of investigations into questions about his family's land sales to his state department.

Lawson and Mitchell began to air ads in recent days, joining Crouch and White who went on air last week. A spokeswoman for Claytor said he plans to begin airing ads soon.

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