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Analyst: Welch May Make Most Sense For Simpson’s Vacant Seat

Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) talks on the House floor with Eric Turner (R-Marion).

One lawmaker facing an uncommonly tough reelection bid may be the most logical pick to run as Vi Simpson’s Senate replacement, says one legisltive watcher.

Ed Feigenbaum publishes Indiana Legislative Insight and says the list of possible candidates isn’t likely to include Bloomington State Representative Matt Pierce, but says the race appears to make the most sense for another sitting legislator.

“This is certainly something that would have to look attractive to Peggy Welch,” Feigenbaum says, “Who’s facing a very tough House campaign in a district that’s, in part, new to her – the Morgan County territory in particular – where she’s up against an elected official from Morgan County.  And one with the same first name, which could cause additional confusion.”

Both Welch’s and Pierce’s districts were redrawn following the 2010 census.  Pierce’s was consolidated to cover primarily his Democratic base in the city of Bloomington proper.  Welch’s, though, suddenly overlapped that of Martinsville Representative Ralph Foley.  Foley decided to retire rather than run again, leaving the Republican primary open for Clerk Marguerite Mayfield, who’s known by the nickname Peggy.

Peggy Welch says she’s trying to be “prudent” about the soon-to-be-vacant seat in the Senate, but says she hasn’t made any decisions on whether to run.  Welch has made numerous appearances in Morgan County since the beginning of the year in an attempt to raise her public profile in her new House district.  The Senate district, which was also redrawn, includes only the northern three-fourths of Monroe County.

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