2014 elections

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A group led by Common Cause Indiana announced this week it'll push state lawmakers to adopt a non-partisan redistricting process and end the gerrymandering of the state’s political boundaries.

courtesy Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) says the Republican Party’s capture of the Senate will make all the difference for his party -- if lawmakers handle their new leadership the right way.

Coats says Republicans have been incredibly frustrated the last few years as bills sent from the GOP-controlled House were blocked by a Democratic majority in the Senate, often without debate. 

The Hoosier Senator says the victories won in this month’s election can allow the GOP to advance its alternatives to President Obama’s proposals.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

State Republican Party Chair Tim Berry called Tuesday’s election “Ladies Night” as all three female GOP statewide candidates earned emphatic victories. 

A little after nine P-M Tuesday, Governor Mike Pence took to the stage at state Republican Party headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.  Speaking to a crowd already buzzing with positivity on a night that was shaping up to be big for the GOP, Pence told them it was a historic night.

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In Tippecanoe County, it was an upset win in the County Assessor’s race.

Democrat Eric Grossman won 53-percent of the vote compared to 47-percent for Republican incumbent Linda Phillips.

Grossman previously worked in the Assessor's office for four years, including two under Phillips.

Barry Richard will be the new Tippecanoe County sheriff.

The Democrat came out on top with 62-percent of the vote to defeat Independent candidate Chris Schuiszi.

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Following lackluster turnout in Indiana's primary elections in May, many politicos worried this mid-term general election would similarly rate a "meh" with voters. While voter apathy still appears high, Tippecanoe County will beat its totals from May, at least.

As of 4 p.m., County Clerk Christa Coffey says more than 14,000 in-person ballots have been cast -- that's about the same number filed during the entire primary season.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA News

It appears there’s at least one Indiana county where early voter turnout wasn’t alarmingly low. In Bartholomew County, Clerk Tami Hines says the number of absentee votes is up almost 300 compared to the mid-term election four years ago and more than 600 votes compared to 2006.

Hines says the apparent enthusiasm also extended to poll workers this morning.    Mary Glasson, 92, was a poll worker for many years and retired.

courtesy New Hampshire Public Radio

Recent history suggests a small minority of people will pay attention to politics on this, Election Day 2014.

But one person who will be is NPR's National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson.

Liasson was in West Lafayette recently and sat down with WBAA News Director Stan Jastrzebski to give her view on how this year's almost forgotten election will have an impact not just on the political landscape for the next two years, but also on the 2016 presidential race.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

After historically poor voter turnout in May’s primary election, the general election might not be much different for Indiana.  The state faces a November without a major race, such as governor or senator, at the top of the ballot. 

In fact, the title of State Auditor might be the greatest misnomer in Indiana.  The Auditor isn’t responsible for auditing state and local government; that’s the job of the State Board of Accounts and internal auditors at major state agencies such as the Family and Social Services Administration and the Department of Revenue. 

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Crawfordsville, like many cities in West Central Indiana, has a bit of an identity crisis. Do leaders follow the Lt. Governor’s motto of “rural is cool” or do they position themselves as the vanguard of technological expansion?

We ask those questions of Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton on this edition of Ask The Mayor, as well as how he plans to weigh those competing interests.

Courtesy U.S. Congress

Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-5th) is finishing her freshman term in Congress and is favored to win a second in next week’s election. She says she went to Washington to help Congress’ image, but the job was all but insurmountable -- the institution remains as unpopular as ever.

WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski sat down with Brooks recently to talk about whether there’s any way to get the public believing in national politics again, especially if Republicans take control of the Senate.

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