(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Republicans will own a supermajority in both the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years.
The Senate has had a walk-out proof supermajority in the Senate for two years. Now, the Indiana GOP can brag the same for the House, as Republicans gained nine seats in the chamber in Tuesday’s election.
Republicans had held 60 seats the past two years – not enough to prevent business-halting walkouts by most of the House Democrats each of the past two legislative sessions. Starting in January, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma and his party will be able to vote on legislation even if no Democrats are present.
Helping in establishing the supermajority in the House was Republican incumbent Randy Frye. The House District 67 State Representative from Greensburg survived a challenge from Aurora Democrat Tom Cheek, 58 to 47 percent.
“It would be quite a pick-up for us,” Frye said regarding the House supermajority.
Frye expects the budget to be the biggest issue in the 2013 session. How to handle the economic impact of the summer drought of 2012 could also be a topic for lawmakers to tackle, Frye said.
Frye said he will continue to push for improvements to southeast Indiana’s physical and technological infrastructure in hopes of attracting new economic development.
“We got a couple cell towers up in Ripley County in Elrod and Milan. That’s two when we need 30,” he said. “Cell service is still sporadic. Internet access is sometimes non-existent. Highways need improvement. We need fresh water in the Versailles, Milan, and Holton areas.”
Cheek did brag 55 percent of the vote in the portion of District 67 covering southern Dearborn County. However, District 67 only covers all or portions of several other counties, none of which Cheek prevailed in.
In House District 68, Brookville Republican Jud McMillin won re-election over Democrat Jake Hoog, of Sunman, 68 to 32 percent.
Two of Indiana’s House races are still too close to call as of Wednesday. Races in House Districts 45 and 87 are separated by less than 100 votes.