Carrasco wins caucus to finish Sandlin’s term in Indiana Senate

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Cyndi Carrasco gave an acceptance speech after winning a caucus to represent Indiana Senate District 36 (Peter Blanchard/IBJ photo)

Former Indiana Inspector General Cyndi Carrasco was selected overwhelmingly by a caucus of Republican precinct committee members Wednesday to fill the remainder of the late Jack Sandlin’s term in the Indiana Senate.

Carrasco, who lost to Democrat Ryan Mears in the 2022 election for Marion County prosecutor, earned 53 out of a possible 58 votes—or 91%—in the caucus, which took place at the Atrium Banquet & Conference Center on the south side of Indianapolis.

Her only opponent, John Jacob, a former one-term state representative for Marion and Johnson County, received the remaining five votes. A swearing-in ceremony is planned for Nov. 1.

Senate District 36, which includes parts of southern Marion County and northern Johnson County, has been vacant since the sudden Sept. 20 death of Sandlin, who was elected to the Indiana Senate in 2016 and reelected in 2020. His term runs through 2024.

Carrasco is no stranger to the statehouse, having worked in the Indiana Office of the Inspector General for more than 12 years. In 2015, she was named the state’s first female inspector general and was later named deputy general counsel under Gov. Eric Holcomb.

She said she expected her experience in the Indiana Statehouse to help her as a lawmaker.

“It definitely gives me the confidence to go in there and hit the ground running,” Carrasco told reporters following her victory speech. “In my prosecutor’s race, I was able to really develop relationships with some of the legislators in the statehouse. I worked in the legislature this past session, so I come in with what I feel is an edge to be able to focus on the issues.”

Carrasco said her priorities as a state lawmaker include public safety, keeping taxes low and increasing “transparency and parental involvement” in education.

Born and raised to Mexican immigrant parents in El Paso, Texas, Carrasco moved to Indiana to attend to Indiana University McKinney School of Law. She currently serves as vice president and general counsel at the University of Indianapolis, where she also oversees the university police department.

She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Robert, and their daughter, Sarah. They attend Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Greenwood.

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