Rep. Bob Cherry won’t seek reelection, ending 25 years in seat

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Rep. Bob Cherry announced Friday he won’t seek reelection in 2024, retiring after serving out his current term.

The Greenfield Republican will have served in Indiana’s House of Representatives for 25 years—since 1998. His district, 53, includes parts of Hancock and Madison counties.

“During my time in the legislature, our state’s national economic momentum and outlook rankings have gone from near the bottom of nearly every recognized list to at or near the top,” Cherry, 76, said in a news release.

“We also turned budget deficits into structurally balanced budgets with healthy reserves, which protect against future economic downturns,” he continued. “I’m grateful to have been part of Indiana’s success story and for the strong conservative leadership that helped propel us to where we are today.”

Cherry co-authored the state’s latest biennial budget. The $44 billion bill speeds up an existing individual income tax cut timeline, which Cherry said would save taxpayers $430 million over the next two years. He co-authored the original timeline in 2022.

He also touted the budget’s increase funding for K-12 education and elimination of textbook and curricular fees for parents.

“Bob is an integral member of our team as he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, particularly when it comes to working on budgeting matters,” House Speaker Todd Huston said. “He also approaches tough issues with Hoosier common sense, and keeps the needs of his constituents and local communities top of mind.”

Cherry additionally co-authored a controversial law this year cracking down on the state’s pension investment managers. But his legislative attempt to give retirees a 13th check was unsuccessful.

Last year, he supported a contentious bill banning transgender girls from playing on girls K-12 sports teams at public schools; in the release, he said the move protected integrity and fairness.

“It’s been a great privilege and honor to serve Hancock and Madison counties as well as portions of Rush and Shelby counties under the prior legislative district maps,” Cherry said. “I’ve been blessed to represent our area of the state and I’m so thankful for everyone who supported me along the way.”

Huston said he looked forward to serving alongside Cherry during his final year and “wish(ed) him the absolute best in retirement.”

Cherry is one of three long-serving GOP lawmakers to announce retirement plan this fall. Two others resigned early, prompting party insiders to select replacements. And one, Sen. Jack Sandlin of Indianapolis, died unexpectedly in September.

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