ELECTION UPDATES: Republicans win key local legislative races

November 8, 2016
(AP photo)

Note: IBJ will continuously update this file with the latest developments throughout election night.

11:27 p.m.

Republicans poised to retain their supermajorities in the Indiana House and Senate.

Among the most watched Senate races locally:

  • Republican John Ruckelshaus defeated Democrat Pamela Hickman in District 30.
  • Republican Aaron Freeman defeated Democrat Sara Wiley in District 32.
  • Republican Jack Sandlin defeated Democrat Sean Gorman in District 36. 

In the closely watched House District 89, Republican Cindy Kirchhofer defeated Democrat Rachel Burke.


House District 89

- Republican Cindy Kirchhofer

- Democrat Rachel Burke


11 p.m.

The Indiana GOP party welcomed the newly elected governor and lieutenant governor around 10:30 p.m.

“I know Eric Holcomb and he represents everything that is good about Hoosiers and that is good about Indiana,” Holcomb’s running mate Suzanne Crouch said. “He has a heart for public service. He has a love for Hoosiers. And he’s going to take Indiana to the next level."

Holcomb defeated Democratic opponent John Gregg.

He told the crowd that he knew there were many people who didn’t believe he could win given the short campaign.

“Holcomb can’t do this. Holcomb can’t do that,” Holcomb said. “Well, they were partly right. Holcomb couldn’t do it, but we did. We did it because we have the best volunteers in the nation.” 

Holcomb said he accomplished a lot during his 100-day campaign, and he’s looking forward to the next 100 days.

“Let’s make some history," Holcomb told the crowd at the Republican HQ at the Indiana Convention Center.

10:53 p.m. 


Global markets rocked as traders see pathway for Trump victory. 

Panicked traders rushed to unwind bets they piled into over the last two days amid predictions Clinton would sweep to an easy victory. Futures on the S&P 500 plunged more than 4 percent, while Mexico’s peso—a barometer for investors’ perceptions of the American vote—sank by the most in eight years. Safe-haven demand pushed the yen and gold up by more than 2 percent. Yields on 10-year Treasuries slid to a two-week low.

“It’s quite scary,” said Nader Naeimi, the Sydney-based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages about $125 billion. “The slightest move towards Trump moved the market very quickly. The slightest change in the odds is amplifying market moves and this just shows there’s a lot at stake. I don’t think it’s a done deal yet; at the end of the day we still don’t know the winner.”


10:33 p.m.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller introduced Republican Attorney General candidate Curtis Hill at the state GOP party. Hill defeated Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo and will replace Zoeller, who unsuccessfully ran for the 9th Congressional District in the May primary. 

Hill thanked his family and campaign staff for their support. 

“We planned for a great Republican victory, and ladies and gentlemen, we got it tonight,” Hill said.


10:20 p.m.

Many business interests are now starting to focus on the stock market. U.S. stock futures tumble as investors begin to anticipate possible Donald Trump victory, according to Bloomberg. Stay tuned, we'll get more news up on this soon. 

10:17 p.m.

With the state superintendent's race now official, Republicans have won every statewide race; Eric Holcomb for governor, Curtis Hill for AG, Jennifer McCormick as education boss, and Todd Young in the U.S. Senate race.


10:11 p.m.

It's official. Republican Jennifer McCormick beats Democrat Glenda Ritz in the race for state superintendent of education. You have to wonder where were all the educators who supported Ritz four years ago, when she ousted Republican incumbant Tony Bennett? So now we have a Republican governor and and Republican state superintendent. Now, can we all get along?


10:06 p.m.

John Gregg thanked his supporters for staying tonight, lamenting that “this was not the speech I planned on giving."

"I love the promise of a better Indiana that comes with each sunrise,” Gregg said. "If we choose if, although tonight is disappointing, tomorrow can still be our day. Indiana is a great place and still has a bright future.”

He said Democrats shouldn’t ask themselves, “How can we ever win?”

"Democrats, we can win,” Gregg said. "We will win. View this as a time for us to re-engerize our party."

He positioned his running mate, State Rep. Christina Hale , as the future of the party, saying this may be the last time his name is on the ballot.

“[Hale] gave up her seat, sacrificed her seat because she wanted to serve,” Gregg said. "She is filled with passion and compassion. She has a bright future. I know we’ll see her in the arena again soon."

Hale said her heart was “broken,” mostly because Hoosiers “deserved John Gregg to lead as governor.” She said it was "my dearest wish to see him lead our state."

“John and I have a heart for Indiana,” Gregg said. “We love Indiana. We love the people. We were  in this race for all the right reasons. Everybody saw we were the prepared campaign. I’m so sorry that wasn’t reflected in the vote. If people could see into our hearts, they would know. We just want to do good things for people.”


9:59 p.m.

Retiring U.S. Sen. Dan Coats introduced Republican Todd Young, who defeated Democrat Evan Bayh to replace Coats in the Senate, around 9:40 p.m. Young played up his experience in the U.S. Marine Corps., saying Hoosiers voted to send in a Marine to clean up the mess in Washington.

“Tonight was a great victory,” Young said. "Not for me, but for the people of Indiana.”

He promised to do what’s right for Hoosiers and be a conservative in the Senate.

“Let’s enjoy this evening, then let’s go to work,” Young said.

When he mentioned speaking to Bayh earlier in the night, someone in the crowed yelled, “Bye, Bayh!”

After Young ended his remarks, the crowd briefly chanted “Go Todd Young!"

9:57 p.m.

Indiana Republican Party streamed John Gregg’s speech following Todd Young’s remarks.


9:53 p.m. 

It looks like when all is said and done, Donald Trump will get about 60 percent of the votes from Hoosiers. 


9:49 p.m.

Republican Trey Hollingsworth, who was heavily criticized for moving here recently from Tennessee, wins Indiana's 9th Congressional District, overcoming carpetbagger accusations. Democrat Shelli Yoder could not get the win.

9:45 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, who was reelected tonight, excited a dejected crowd at the Democrat event. 

“Don’t give up on the Democratic Party,” Carson said. "We are the party that is is diverse. We are the party that is committed to public service, justice. Don’t you give up tonight Democrats. Don’t you get down because we have work to do. We have to fight the fight."


9:38 p.m.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Jennifer McCormick had 54 percent of the vote in the state superintendent’s race, compared with 46 percent for Glenda Ritz.


9:34 p.m.

Evan Bayh took the stage at Indiana's Democratic HQ around 9:25 p.m. He thanked his supporters and congratulated Congressman Young. He urged people to come together after the election, and said he stood “ready in the years to come to help my fellow citizens in any capacity they may see fit to have me.”

“I want to thank all of you [who] have made this journey possible,” Bayh said. “I hope more than anything, that together we can find a better kind of politics, one that emphasizes hope, not fear, … and one that finds common ground we can stand on and move forward on together. … America needs unity more than anything else."


9:31 p.m.

The Indiana GOP streamed Bayh’s concession speech, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.


9:23 p.m.

Comment from state Republican chairman Jeff Cardwell re: Eric Holcomb victory: "I think this will be a race that will be studied for years and years. Here’ a statewide candidate for governor running a race in 100 days, raising millions of dollars, criss crossing the state. This is one that's going to be in the history books, and we’re very proud of Eric.”


9:21 p.m.

Eric Holcomb is called the winner in governor's race, by AP.


9:17 p.m.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane said “it's been tough so far” for Democrats, which he attributed to Trump’s big win in Indiana. He said Bayh’s loss is “certainly disappointing” but it was tough for him to overcome Trump’s big Indiana win margin. He said he thinks Gregg’s still “got a chance.”


9:13 p.m.

Republican Curtis Hill has won the state attorney general’s race over Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo. Hill, the Eklhart County prosecutor, will be the first Republican African American to serve as the state’s top lawyer.


9:11 p.m.

John Gregg is not closing the gap to Eric Holcomb very fast. 


9:06 p.m.

It's final, folks. Marion County votes for higher taxes to pay for expanded transit. 


8:56 p.m.

A cheer goes up from Hoosier hunters and fishermen. A referendum to make hunting and fishing a state constitutional right has passed today. 


8:51 p.m.

With 54 percent of precincts reporting, Todd Young has 53.3 percent of the vote. Evan Bayh is at 41.1 percent. 


8:49 p.m.

Transit referendum is making tracks, folks. 441 of 600 precincts are in (74 percent). 58 percent yes; 42 percent no.


8:47 p.m.

Gordon Hendry, a member of the Indiana State Board of Education and Bayh supporter, tweeted that he was “very very sad” about the Bayh loss. 


8:43 p.m.

Todd Young is expected to speak at Indiana's Republican election night headquarters after Bayh’s speech at 9 p.m. Crowd has started to gather around the podium.


8:41 p.m.

Evan Bayh is expected to speak at 9 p.m. at the Democtatic party headquarters at the Indiana Convention Center.


8:36 p.m. 

Todd Young beats back Evan Bayh. IBJ's Lindsey Erdody has the call.

8:31 p.m.

Transit update: 323 of 600 precincts are in. 57.74 percent yes; 42.26 percent no. So will the City-County Council to push this through?


8:28 p.m.

NBC is reporting that Republican Todd Young will beat Democrat Evan Bayh for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat.


8:25 p.m.

Reports now coming in that John Gregg is closing the gap to Eric Holcomb.


8:20 p.m.

With 40 percent of the Indiana precincts reporting, it looks a lot like Evan Bayh is going to lose to Republican Todd Young. Bayh, Indiana's former governor and U.S. Senator, only has about 41 percent of the vote so far.


8:16 p.m.

We're past the halfway point on the transit referendum: 301 of 600 precincts reporting. 58 percent yes. 42 percent no


8:13 p.m.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma briefly addressed the crowd around 8 p.m., saying he’s looking forward to working with the newly elected Republicans and continuing to move Indiana forward. 


8:08 p.m.

John Gregg's bid to be Indiana governor appears to be in real trouble. With 40 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Eric Holcomb has 53 percent of the vote and Democrat Gregg has 44 percent. Most poll-day projections certainly had the race much closer.


7:58 p.m.

192 of 600 precincts reporting. 58 percent yes on transit referendum. 42 percent no. Remember, this referendum only gives the City-County Council the authority to levy a tax of up to 0.25 percentage points. Some City-County Councilors up to this point have been non-commital until they see the results countywide and in their districts.


7:49 p.m.

Transit update:148 of 600 precincts now in. 58.92 percent yes; 41.08 percent no. 

7:39 p.m.

With 73 of 600 precincts in (it's not clear which precincts are in) and the transit referendum is passing 58.9 percent to 41.1 percent, according to the Marion County Clerk's office. Stay tuned, this one has wide ramifications.


7:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly took the stage briefly around 7:30 p.m. at the Indiana Democratic Party headquarters at the Convention Center to rally attendees and tell them to “buckle up.” He said he was confident Democrats would win races.

"It could be a long night, but it's going to be a good night,” Donnelly said. "Let's turn Indiana blue."


7:10 p.m.

The crowd erupted into applause and cheers as Fox News called Indiana and Kentucky for Trump. Immediately following that, Indiana GOP Chairman Jeff Cardwell introduced the Indiana campaign staff for Trump. 


7:07 p.m.

Republicans are starting to fill up the ballroom in the JW Marriott for the Indiana GOP election night headquarters. The Indiana campaign staff for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and vice president candidate Mike Pence are expected to kick off the party soon.


7:03 p.m.

CNN's tally does not include Indianapolis or any of the other major cities within the Hoosier state.



Donald Trump already being called a winner in Indiana according to CNN.


7 p.m.

As the polls closed at 7 p.m. in the state’s Central time zone, Democrats have started gathering at the Indiana Convention Center and Republicans at the J.W. Marriott.

Gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, who voted this morning in his hometown of Sanborn and then visited polling sites, is with 18 of his family members at a nearby hotel awaiting results. He’s not expected to make an appearance until the race is called.


6:51 p.m.

6:48 p.m.



6:22 p.m.

State election officials say nearly 900,000 Indiana voters cast early ballots for Tuesday's election and that could mean a late night in some counties tallying those ballots.

Indiana Election Division co-director Brad King says that as Monday's deadline for early voting, county clerks had received more than 896,000 ballots cast in person and through other methods.

That's about 234,000 more ballots more than Indiana's previous early voting record set in the 2008 general election.

King says mailed-in absentee ballots and overseas ballots from members of the military and Americans working overseas are still arriving at clerk's offices.

Election officials in Indianapolis expect to put in a late night tallying about 70,000 absentee ballots. Officials in other counties also foresee a late night due to the large volume of absentee ballots.


6 p.m.

Polls in counties on Eastern time were due to close at 6 p.m. local time Tuesday, but voters in line at that time were expected to be allowed to cast their ballots in national, state and local contests.

Polls in 12 northwestern and southwestern counties on Central time will remain open an hour later.


4:40 p.m.

Election officials say some of Indiana's polling places are seeing long lines and a few equipment glitches but Election Day has generally gone smoothly across the state.

Indiana Election Division co-director Angie Nussmeyer says long lines are an issue in several Indiana counties but that was expected because of strong voter interest in Tuesday's election.

Valerie Warycha, the spokeswoman for the Indiana Secretary of State's office, says she's heard of long lines at polling places "but nothing out of the ordinary."

Marion County Clerk's office spokesman Russell Hollis says vote-recording machines jammed Tuesday at a few polling places in Indianapolis, temporarily halting the process of recording votes from paper ballots. But he says those paper jams were fixed quickly and didn't affect voters' ability to cast ballots.


1:01 p.m.

With voting under way in Indianapolis, Marion County Clerk Myla Eldridge was excited on Tuesday morning for a big turnout.

Unfortunately, morning voters around central Indiana paid the price for the enthusiasm with significant wait times at some polls.

“We’re just excited to see so many voters in Marion County,” Eldridge told WRTV-TV Channel 6 around 10 a.m. Tuesday. “They’re willing to wait, they’re excited, there’s lots of energy here in Marion County.”

And wait they did, with voters reporting a wide range of wait times across the nine-county metro area—as high as 2-1/2 hours in some places and as little as five or 10 minutes in others.

On Twitter, various users posted about more than one-hour waits in Avon, two-hour waits in Perry Township, and more than one-hour waits in Meridian-Kessler.

IBJ reader Andrew Clevenger logged just under 30 minutes of wait time on the near-east side. “Not too bad compared to other places, though this is the first time I’ve ever had to wait in line,” Clevenger posted on IBJ’s Facebook page.

Jason J. Stellema reported waiting for two hours and 35 minutes in Fishers, while another voter in the city logged 40 minutes. Sarah Mitchell notched a one hour and 45 minute wait in Westfield.

There appeared to be a 20-minute wait around 11 a.m. at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and a 7-minute wait at 11 a.m. in Arsenal Heights.

At some polling places handling voters from multiple precincts, residents of one precinct sailed through their line while voters from another precinct waited more than an hour to fill out their ballots.

A mix-up in precinct signature books got voting off to a rocky start at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St. Poll workers discovered shortly before 6 a.m. that they had the wrong signature book for one precinct, 13 instead of 15. A worker raced out to exchange books, causing a delay in the start of voting for one of the two precincts there.

Gov. Mike Pence cast his vote at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church around 11 a.m.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m. Voters have to be in line by 6 p.m. to cast their ballot. Voters must have a valid state or federal I.D. Voters can check their polling places at www.indianavoters.com.

Absentee voting and early voting in Marion County, which ended at noon Monday, appeared to net 15 percent increases in ballots cast compared with 2012. But the more than 68,000 returned ballots were still much less than 2008’s more than 93,000 returned ballots.



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