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Indiana House Democrats Seek Unity For Next Session

Because the GOP has a supermajority in House of Representatives, Democrats must unify if they want to push through any of their initiatives.

Indiana House of Representatives

Photo: Indiana House of Representatives

Members of the Indiana House of Representatives sit in session.

New House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says his caucus will need to place a premium on cohesion as it faces a Republican super majority in both chambers, which includes ousted minority leader Pat Bauer.

Less than a third of the Indiana House’s members are Democrats for the first time in 40 years and minority leader Scott Pelath says his caucus will focus on the basics: educating the public, providing alternatives and working with the majority when called upon. And he says his caucus will need unity to do those things effectively.

“The nature of our cohesiveness is what’s most important and that’s having free lines of communication with each other, using each other’s best talents and realizing that the person sitting next to you may have a better idea,” Pelath says.

South Bend Democrat Pat Bauer, whose caucus removed him as leader in an acrimonious struggle earlier this year, says his role now is as the voice of experience.

“Within my caucus, I guess I’m just willing to help, especially several of the new freshmen I helped win,” he says.

Pelath says the caucus will continue to look to Bauer for guidance and historical perspective.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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