Republicans select former Marion County GOP chair to replace Merritt at Statehouse

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Former Marion County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Walker was elected by caucus Sunday to replace retiring state Sen. Jim Merritt.

Merritt, who had been in office since 1990, resigned from the position earlier this month. He still had two years left in his term.

The Senate district encompasses Lawrence Township, a small portion of Washington Township, and Fall Creek Township in Hamilton County.

Five Republicans ran in the Republican caucus to succeed Merritt—Walker, Fishers City Council President Cecilia Coble, Tendercare Home Health Services Inc. co-owner and Financial Business Manager Eric Deitchman, F.C. Tucker real estate agent Tiffanie Ditlevson, and RE/MAX Ability Plus Vice President of Sales Jim Morgan.

Walker had the support of several established Republicans, including former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier.

Walker is currently senior vice president for consulting firm M/O Strategies and served as chairman of Marion County GOP from 2010-2015. He is also a former Lawrence City Council member.

After the results were announced, Walker told the caucus that he’d work hard to make sure the district is well-represented at the Statehouse.

“I look forward to representing this senate district for the next two years,” Walker said.

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