GOP Indiana legislator quits to focus on congressional race

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Erin Houchin

A southern Indiana state senator has decided to resign from her seat just weeks after announcing a campaign for Congress.

Republican Sen. Erin Houchin of Salem’s resignation from the state Senate was announced Thursday and is effective Feb. 4. Her resignation letter didn’t cite a reason for her decision.

But a campaign spokesman confirmed Houchin was stepping down to focus on her bid for the GOP nomination in the May 3 primary to replace Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who isn’t seeking reelection this year.

Houchin was first elected to the state Senate in 2014. She finished second to Hollingsworth in a crowded 2016 Republican primary for the 9th District congressional seat, which the then-political unknown won after millions of campaign spending from his family’s wealth.

The Republican-dominated Legislature kept the 9th District solidly Republican in the redistricting that takes effect for this year’s election. The revamped district covers the largely rural southeastern corner of Indiana, including the cities of New Albany, Jeffersonville, Bloomington, Greensburg and Madison.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said he encouraged Houchin to not resign but understood her decision.

Houchin’s resignation could leave her district unrepresented for several weeks during the legislative session that ends in mid-March.

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8 thoughts on “GOP Indiana legislator quits to focus on congressional race

  1. Leaving your district unrepresented during the session should be the type of thing that makes her unelectable to voters. If you quit your job to apply for a new one, shouldn’t your prospective employer question exactly how loyal to them you will be?

    Throw in that the previous representative moved to Indiana around 15 minutes before the deadline and bought the seat by outspending everyone else, and it does seem as though politicians think the voters of the 9th aren’t particularly discerning when it comes to who represents them.

    1. If the headline read “GOP states sky is blue” Joe would be in the comments skreeching that the sky is orange.
      I think the district will somehow manage for a few months without their part time Rep. it’s actually a nice contrast because most of the time politicians stay on the payroll of their old job while campaigning 100% of the time for their new job.

      Hey Joe, remember when Hillary moved to NY 8 minutes before the election and landed a Senate seat? I guess NY Democrats aren’t particularly discerning about who represents them

    2. Depends on what color the sky actually is, Chuck. Problem with the GOP these days is that the sky would actually be orange and the GOP would lie and tell you it’s blue and you can’t trust Big Weather anyway because a pillow salesman and an MMA fighter know more about the weather than a meteorologist.

      If your defense is “Hillary Clinton did it, it must be OK” then we are in a sorry state of affairs. Maybe Republicans should hold themselves to a higher standard.

      It’s not my fault that the GOP only had one decent candidate in 2020 for me to vote for and that was Eric Holcomb. He got my vote. Maybe you would debase yourself to vote for Todd Rokita or John Jacob or Jack Sandlin, but I won’t.

      If Houchin wanted to quit, she should’ve done it before the session started. I wouldn’t let my kids quit a sports season once they committed to starting if life got too hard, why would I hold my elected officials to a lower standard? Last time I checked she has multiple weeks to run for office between the end of the session and the primary.

      But don’t worry, she’s not in my district anyway. I’ve been gerrymandered into the sixth district because, obviously, as a resident of southern Marion County, I have much in common with the folks who live in New Castle, Rushville, Richmond, and Columbus. Yes, I’ve been rewarded with Greg Pence. Talk about someone who does nothing, fell into an opportunity based on his last name, and now can count on a government pension … after a private sector career in which the highlight was sticking Indiana with millions of dollars of environmental cleanup after his business failed. He wouldn’t even stick up for his own brother when a mob tried to kill him, why would I expect him to stick up for me as a constituent?

    3. {{ If Houchin wanted to quit, she should’ve done it before the session started. }}
      Actually, it would be a better system if running for any elected office if the candidates had to resign from their current position. Then you’d know they’re a bit more serious about their candidacy and they wouldn’t have a parachute.

    4. I think I know what you’re after, but not sure I agree when it comes to people being term limited out of office.

      So … Indiana examples. If Eric Holcomb wanted to run for Senate in 2024, let him, he’s out of a job at the end of the year anyway. Making him resign allows him to grant the advantage of incumbency to someone who wasn’t elected to hold the office.

      If Suzanne Crouch wanted to run for governor in 2024 (not that Indiana Republicans would ever allow a woman to be Governor), she shouldn’t have to resign as Lt. Governor. She’s out of a job regardless in 2025, it’s not as though she can fall back on another office.

  2. Is the IBJ being paid to run all these ads for this candidate? There are 3 real candidates in this race from what I can tell, but the IBJ has yet to event mention the other competition?

    1. I think the news was that she quit the senate, not who was running in the race she quit her seat for.

    2. @dan fair point. The prior two articles did not mention the other candidates in the race and were just discussing the race…

      IBJ is the last local media I trust to be un-biased so I just expect equal coverage when it comes to politics (and this is a primary race so its not like political lean should impact it)