INDIANAPOLIS – In addition to the congressional midterms, there are several Statehouse races on the ballot in Indiana. Elections are being held for Indiana auditor, treasurer and secretary of state, along with most seats in the Indiana General Assembly.
Republicans hold a supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly – that means two-thirds of the seats in both the House and Senate.
Democrats are focusing on some competitive districts in their push to pick up seats.
“I am running to bring some balance to the Statehouse,” said Jocelyn Vare, a Democrat running to represent Fishers in the state Senate. “I want Hoosiers’ voices to be heard.”
“Urban and suburban areas typically have been a little bit more moderate,” said Vare’s opponent, incumbent State Sen. Kyle Walker (R-Fishers). “I think people are looking for common-sense approaches.”
To break the Republican supermajority, Democrats need to hold of all their current seats and pick up another five seats In the House and seven in the Senate.
University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Wilson says that’s a challenge.
“We just redistricted last fall,” Wilson explained. “So those maps are going to be drawn a certain way that may make some of those districts even slightly less competitive and fewer opportunities for Democratic voters.”
Some statewide offices are on the ballot: Indiana secretary of state, auditor and treasurer.
The Indiana secretary of state oversees elections. Democrats are especially looking to that race for their first statewide win since 2012.
The Indiana treasurer makes decisions on investments for the state. The state will elect a new treasurer this year. Republican Daniel Elliott is facing Democrat Jessica McClellan in that race.
The auditor acts as a chief financial officer for Indiana, tracking state dollars and paying bills. Democrat ZeNai Brooks is challenging the Republican incumbent Tera Klutz.
Elizabeth Bennion, who teaches political science at IU South Bend, says both the auditor and treasurer positions play key roles managing Hoosiers’ tax dollars.
“Between the treasurer and the auditor, there is a lot of work with those local governments, whether it’s tax disbursements through the auditor’s office or 911 funds through the treasurer,” Bennion explained.
The auditor, treasurer and secretary of state serve four-year terms.
Members of the Indiana House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms. An Indiana Senate term runs four years.