Mr. Messer is off to Washington.
Decatur County native Luke Messer’s bid for a spot in the United States Congress proved successful in Tuesday night’s General Election.
The Republican received more than 160,000 votes, more than enough to defeat Democrat Bradley Bookout. Messer will take the place of fellow GOP stalwart Mike Pence, who defeated Democrat John Gregg in the Indiana gubernatorial race Tuesday night.
Messer will represent the 6th Congressional District in Washington when he takes office in January. Governor-elect Pence pledged Wednesday to soon fulfill the remainder of his duties in the “lame duck” congressional session, which also ends early next year.
Luke Messer ran a campaign focused on a variety of issues. The Messer campaign highlighted national security, personal integrity and energy independence (among others), but above all remained rooted in “conservative principals.” Messer received plenty of backing in his hometown along the way as Decatur County voters overwhelmingly voted for the Republican “Young Gun” by a majority of more than three to one.
“Our family feels blessed by the opportunity to serve the people of Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, and we thank the voters in our district for the trust they have placed in us,” Messer’s campaign page read Tuesday night. “Please know that we recognize the importance of the job and the enormity of the issues we face as a country.”
While Luke Messer will soon be headed to Washington, D.C., District 67 Representative Randy Frye (R) will remain in the Statehouse.
The incumbent Frye bested Democratic challenger Tom Cheek by nearly 4,000 votes in his bid to hold onto his seat Tuesday night.
Frye, a Batesville native, began his Statehouse tenure in 2010.
“Thank you to everyone who came out and supported my re-election campaign,” Frye posted on his Facebook page Tuesday. “I’m honored to have been selected by the residents of House District 67 to represent them again for another term. Thank you to all those who came out and voted today and to all the candidates who ran.”
Another Republican victory came in the person of area restaurant owner Cindy Ziemke, who defeated Democrat David Moeller for the honor of becoming State Representative in District 55.
Ziemke earned nearly 15,000 votes in her bid, coming up more than 5,000 ballots ahead of Moeller. Ziemke and her husband went door-to-door throughout her campaign, hoping to connect with voters on a more personal level. The result was a victory, by a wide-margin, in the largely conservative District 55 voting area.
Around the state, things weren’t quite as one-sided.
Democrat Joe Donnelly defeated Republican Richard Mourdock for a spot in the United States Senate, taking a seat long-held by Republican Richard Lugar. Lugar was defeated by Mourdock in the Republican Primary back in May.
The Indiana Senate race gained national attention in recent weeks due to Mourdock’s controversial comments regarding the conception of a child during rape. Many news outlets speculated those comments caused a voter backlash, costing Mourdock the election.
Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning earned more than 140,000 votes in the Senate race.
In what was perhaps the biggest upset of the night, Democrat Glenda Ritz narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Dr. Tony Bennett in the race for Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Ritz’ campaign attracted the support of thousands of educators around the state who found themselves at odds with many of Bennett’s educational reforms.
Those expecting a relatively close race for the governor’s office proved to be mostly correct Tuesday night, as Democrat John Gregg came up short by fewer than 100,000 votes in his bid to succeed outgoing Republican Mitch Daniels.
Celebrity Rupert Boneham campaigned for the job on the Libertarian ticket and earned 97, 536 votes for a distant third place finish. Independent candidate Donnie Harold Harris received 34 Hoosier votes.
Finally, Republican Greg Zoeller will remain Indiana Attorney General by defeating Democrat Kay Fleming. Zoeller was first elected to the position in 2008.
Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056