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Indiana Politics

Indiana Politics

Political History of Indiana

The region of Indiana was first explored by the Europeans. In 1679, the French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de Le Salle was the first European to reach Indiana. Thus during this time, Indiana was under the control of France. Later in 1750s, the British came to Indiana and started the struggle with France to establish their control over Indiana. During the war period, the Native Americans supported the French army as the British people treated them very badly. The French and Indiana war came to an end in 1763 through a treaty known as The Treaty of Parris. According to the Treaty of Paris, Indiana came under the control of British government and lost from the hands of France. After few years, in 1775 a Revolutionary war broke out in Indiana. During the period of this Revolutionary War, the Vincennes and Fort Sackville was captured from the British by an American military officer George Rogers Clark. Towards the end of 1783, the revolutionary war came to an end through the Treaty of Paris and Indiana slipped away from the British control and established itself as a part of the United States of America.

Later in 1880, the Territory of Indiana or the Indiana Territory was established. The Indiana Territory contained Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The territory also included some parts of Minnesota. William Henry Harrison was the first elected governor of the Indiana territory. He served as the governor in the territory for a period of twelve years from 1800 to 1813. A county located in southern part of Indiana was named as the Harrison County to honor the governor William Harrison. During his period, Vincennes was the capital of Indiana Territory which was later shifted to Corydon in 1813.

The Indiana territory was officially declared as a state or it achieved its statehood on December 11th of 1816. Then President of United States, James Madison approved Indiana as the nineteenth State of United States of America. In 1825, the capital city of Indiana was shifted from Corydon to Indianapolis. Indianapolis serves as the current capital of Indiana.

Political Parties of Indiana

The most important political parties of Indiana are:

  • Indiana Democratic Party: Indiana’s most important Democratic Party political organization is the Indiana Democratic Party. This party is affiliated to the United States Democratic Party. The Indiana Democratic Party was formed in 1916. Its headquarter is located in Indianapolis (IN 46204). Dan Parker is the Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. The party has ballet access in Indiana. Among the Indiana house of Representatives, majority are of democratic lean. There are 52 democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives. Some of the important members include Charlie Brown, Earl Harris, Linda Lason, Edward Delaney and so on. In Indiana Senate or the Upper House of the Indiana General Assembly, seventeen members are of democratic lean.

  • Libertarian Party of Indiana: The Libertarian Party of Indiana is affiliated to the Libertarian Party of United States. Its headquarter is located at Indianapolis (IN 46204). The chairman of Indiana Libertarian Party is Sam Goldstein. The party was formed in 1974 during the month of July.

The Libertarian Party has its ballet access in Indiana.

  • Indiana Republican Party: The Indiana Republican Party is affiliated to the United States Republican Party. The chairman of Indiana Republican Party is J. Murray Clark. Like the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party of Indiana, the Republican Party also has ballet access in Indiana. In Indiana Senate or the Upper House of the Indiana General Assembly, thirty three members out of fifty are of republican lean. In the Indiana House of Representatives, 48 members are of republican lean. The important government officials with republican lean are the Governor Mitchell Daniel, the Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, United States senator Richard Lugar, the State Attorney General Greg Zoeller, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, State Secretary Todd Rokita, State auditor Tim Berry and the party chairman Murray Clark.

Elections in Indiana

  • The Legislature election of Indiana for appointing members of the Lower House of Indiana General assembly or the Indiana House of Representatives is conducted in every two years.

  • On the other hand, the Legislature election of Indiana for appointing members of the upper house of Indiana General assembly or the Indiana Senate members is conducted every four years.

  • In Indiana the Gubernatorial elections are held every four years.

  • Indiana also participates in the U.S. Presidential election conducted every four years.

Presidential Elections Results

Year Republican Democratic
2008 48.83% 1,345,648 49.86% 1,374,039
2004 59.94% 1,479,438 39.26% 969,011
2000 56.65% 1,245,836 41.01% 901,980
1996 47.13% 1,006,693 41.55% 887,424
1992 42.91% 989,375 36.79% 848,420
1988 59.84% 1,297,763 39.69% 860,643
1984 61.67% 1,377,230 37.68% 841,481
1980 56.01% 1,255,656 37.65% 844,197
1976 53.32% 1,183,958 45.70% 1,014,714
1972 66.11% 1,405,154 33.34% 708,568
1968 50.29% 1,067,885 37.99% 806,659
1964 43.56% 911,118 55.98% 1,170,848
1960 55.03% 1,175,120 44.60% 952,358

List of Governors of Indiana

S.No. Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Terms
1 Jonathan Jennings November 7, 1816 September 12, 1822 Democratic-
Republican
Christopher Harrison 1 1⁄2
Ratliff Boon
2 Ratliff Boon September 12, 1822 December 5, 1822 Democratic-
Republican
vacant 1⁄2
3 William Hendricks December 5, 1822 February 12, 1825 Democratic-
Republican
Ratliff Boon 1⁄2
4 James B. Ray February 12, 1825 December 7, 1831 Independent John H. Thompson 2 1⁄2
Milton Stapp
5 Noah Noble December 7, 1831 December 6, 1837 Whig David Wallace 2
6 David Wallace December 6, 1837 December 9, 1840 Whig David Hillis 1
7 Samuel Bigger December 9, 1840 December 6, 1843 Whig Samuel Hall 1
8 James Whitcomb December 6, 1843 December 26, 1848 Democratic Jesse D. Bright 1⁄2
Paris C. Dunning
9 Paris C. Dunning December 26, 1848 December 5, 1849 Democratic vacant 1⁄2
10 Joseph A. Wright December 5, 1849 January 12, 1857 Democratic James H. Lane 2
Ashbel P. Willard
11 Ashbel P. Willard January 12, 1857 October 4, 1860 Democratic Abram A. Hammond 1⁄2
12 Abram A. Hammond October 4, 1860 January 14, 1861 Democratic vacant 1⁄2
13 Henry Smith Lane January 14, 1861 January 16, 1861 Republican Oliver P. Morton 1⁄2
14 Oliver P. Morton January 16, 1861 January 23, 1867 Republican Conrad Baker 3
15 Conrad Baker January 23, 1867 January 13, 1873 Republican Will Cumback 1⁄2
16 Thomas A. Hendricks January 13, 1873 January 8, 1877 Democratic Leonidas Sexton 1
17 James D. Williams January 8, 1877 November 20, 1880 Democratic Isaac P. Gray 1⁄2
18 Isaac P. Gray November 20, 1880 January 10, 1881 Democratic vacant 1⁄2
19 Albert G. Porter January 10, 1881 January 12, 1885 Republican Thomas Hanna 1
20 Isaac P. Gray January 12, 1885 January 14, 1889 Democratic Mahlon Dickerson Manson 1
21 Alvin P. Hovey January 14, 1889 November 23, 1891 Republican Ira Joy Chase 1⁄2
22 Ira Joy Chase November 23, 1891 January 9, 1893 Republican vacant 1⁄2
23 Claude Matthews January 9, 1893 January 11, 1897 Democratic Mortimer Nye 1
24 James A. Mount January 11, 1897 January 14, 1901 Republican William S. Haggard 1
25 Winfield T. Durbin January 14, 1901 January 9, 1905 Republican Newton W. Gilbert 1
26 J. Frank Hanly January 9, 1905 January 11, 1909 Republican Hugh Thomas Miller 1
27 Thomas R. Marshall January 11, 1909 January 13, 1913 Democratic Frank J. Hall 1
28 Samuel M. Ralston January 13, 1913 January 8, 1917 Democratic William P. O'Neill 1
29 James P. Goodrich January 8, 1917 January 10, 1921 Republican Edgar D. Bush 1
30 Warren T. McCray January 10, 1921 April 30, 1924 Republican Emmett Forrest Branch 1⁄2
31 Emmett Forrest Branch April 30, 1924 January 12, 1925 Republican vacant 1⁄2
32 Edward L. Jackson January 12, 1925 January 14, 1929 Republican F. Harold Van Orman 1
33 Harry G. Leslie January 14, 1929 January 9, 1933 Republican Edgar D. Bush 1
34 Paul V. McNutt January 9, 1933 January 11, 1937 Democratic M. Clifford Townsend 1
35 M. Clifford Townsend January 11, 1937 January 13, 1941 Democratic Henry F. Schricker 1
36 Henry F. Schricker January 13, 1941 January 8, 1945 Democratic Charles M. Dawson 1
37 Ralph F. Gates January 8, 1945 January 10, 1949 Republican Richard T. James 1
38 Henry F. Schricker January 10, 1949 January 12, 1953 Democratic John A. Watkins 1
Rue J. Alexander
39 George N. Craig January 12, 1953 January 14, 1957 Republican Harold W. Handley 1
40 Harold W. Handley January 14, 1957 January 9, 1961 Republican Crawford F. Parker 1
41 Matthew E. Welsh January 9, 1961 January 11, 1965 Democratic Richard O. Ristine 1
42 Roger D. Branigin January 11, 1965 January 13, 1969 Democratic Robert L. Rock 1
43 Edgar Whitcomb January 13, 1969 January 9, 1973 Republican Richard E. Folz 1
44 Otis R. Bowen January 9, 1973 January 13, 1981 Republican Robert D. Orr 2
45 Robert D. Orr January 13, 1981 January 9, 1989 Republican John M. Mutz 2
46 Evan Bayh January 9, 1989 January 13, 1997 Democratic Frank O'Bannon 2
47 Frank O'Bannon January 13, 1997 September 13, 2003 Democratic Joe Kernan 1 1⁄2
48 Joe Kernan September 13, 2003 January 10, 2005 Democratic Kathy Davis 1⁄2
49 Mitch Daniels January 10, 2005 incumbent Republican Becky Skillman 1

Other High Offices Held

Governor Gubernatorial Term U.S. Congress Other Offices Held
U.S. House U.S. Senate
William Henry Harrison 1800–1812     Delegate from Northwest Territory†,
U.S. Representative and Senator from Ohio, Minister to Gran Colombia,
President of the United States
Thomas Posey 1813–1816     U.S. Senator from Louisiana
Jonathan Jennings 1816–1822 H*   Delegate from Indiana Territory
Ratliff Boon 1822 H    
William Hendricks 1822–1825 H† S*  
David Wallace 1837–1840 H    
James Whitcomb 1843–1848   S*  
Joseph A. Wright 1849–1857 H S Minister to Prussia
Henry Smith Lane 1861 H S*  
Oliver P. Morton 1861–1867   S*  
Thomas A. Hendricks 1873–1877 H S Vice President of the United States
James D. Williams 1877–1880 H†    
Albert G. Porter 1881–1885 H   Minister to Italy
Alvin P. Hovey 1888–1891 H†   Minister to Peru
J. Frank Hanly 1905–1909 H    
Thomas R. Marshall 1909–1913     Vice President of the United States
Samuel M. Ralston 1913–1917   S  
Paul V. McNutt 1933–1937     High Commissioner to the Philippines, Ambassador to the Philippines
Otis R. Bowen 1973–1981     U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Robert D. Orr 1981–1989     Ambassador to Singapore
Evan Bayh 1989–1997   S  
Mitch Daniels 2005–     Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Living Former Governors

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Edgar Whitcomb 1969–1973 November 6, 1917 (1917-11-06) (age 92)
Otis R. Bowen 1973–1981 February 26, 1918 (1918-02-26) (age 92)
Evan Bayh 1989–1997 December 26, 1955 (1955-12-26) (age 54)
Joe Kernan 2003–2005 April 8, 1946 (1946-04-08) (age 64)

List of United States Senators from Indiana

Class I

Senator Party Took Office Left Office Reason Notes / Other Offices
James Noble Democratic-
Republican
December 11, 1816 February 26, 1831 Died  
National
Republican
Robert Hanna Whig August 19, 1831 January 3, 1832 Successor qualified  
John Tipton Democratic January 3, 1832 March 4, 1839 Retired  
Albert Smith White Whig March 4, 1839 March 4, 1845 Retired Lieutenant Governor of Indiana (1843–1845)
Jesse D. Bright Democratic March 4, 1845 February 5, 1862 Expelled President pro tempore (1854–1857)
Joseph A. Wright Democratic February 24, 1862 January 14, 1863 Retired Governor of Indiana (1849–1857)
Minister to Prussia (1857–1861; 1865–1867)
David Turpie Democratic January 14, 1863 March 4, 1863   Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives (1874–1875)
Thomas A. Hendricks Democratic March 4, 1863 March 4, 1869   Vice President of the United States (1885)
Governor of Indiana (1873–1877)
Daniel D. Pratt Republican March 4, 1869 March 4, 1875    
Joseph E. McDonald Democratic March 4, 1875 March 4, 1881 Lost re-election Indiana Attorney General (1856–1860)
Benjamin Harrison Republican March 4, 1881 March 4, 1887   President of the United States (1889–1893)
David Turpie Democratic March 4, 1887 March 4, 1899 Lost re-election Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives (1874–1875)
Albert J. Beveridge Republican March 4, 1899 March 4, 1911 Lost re-election  
John W. Kern Democratic March 4, 1911 March 4, 1917 Lost re-election  
Harry Stewart New Republican March 4, 1917 March 4, 1923   U.S. Postmaster General (1923–1929)
Samuel M. Ralston Democratic March 4, 1923 October 14, 1925 Died Governor of Indiana (1913–1917)
Arthur Raymond Robinson Republican October 20, 1925 January 3, 1935 Lost re-election  
Sherman Minton Democratic January 3, 1935 January 3, 1941   Majority Whip (1939—1941)
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1949–1956)
Raymond E. Willis Republican January 3, 1941 January 3, 1947 Retired  
William Ezra Jenner Republican January 3, 1947 January 3, 1959 Retired President pro tem. of the Indiana Senate (1939–1941)
Also held Indiana's class III seat
Vance Hartke Democratic January 3, 1959 January 3, 1977 Lost re-election  
Richard Lugar Republican January 3, 1977 Incumbent    

Class III

Senator Party Took Office Left Office Reason Notes / Other Offices
Waller Taylor Democratic
Republican
December 11, 1816 March 4, 1825    
William Hendricks National
Republican
March 4, 1825 March 4, 1837 Lost re-election Governor of Indiana (1822–1825)
Oliver H. Smith Whig March 4, 1837 March 4, 1843 Lost re-election  
Edward A. Hannegan Democratic March 4, 1843 March 4, 1849 Lost renomination Minister to Prussia (1849–1950)
James Whitcomb Democratic March 4, 1849 December 4, 1852 Died Governor of Indiana (1843–1849)
Charles W. Cathcart Democratic December 6, 1852 January 18, 1853 Successor qualified  
John Pettit Democratic January 18, 1853 March 4, 1855 Lost re-election Indiana Supreme Court Justice (1870–1877)
Chief Justice of the Kansas Territory (1859–1861)
Graham N. Fitch Democratic February 4, 1857 March 4, 1861 Retired  
Henry Smith Lane Republican March 4, 1861 March 4, 1867   Governor of Indiana (1861)
Oliver Hazard Perry Morton Republican March 4, 1867 November 1, 1877 Died Governor of Indiana (1861–1867)
Lieutenant Governor of Indiana (1861)
Member of the 1876 Electoral Commission (1877)
Daniel W. Voorhees Democratic November 6, 1877 March 4, 1897 Lost re-election  
Charles W. Fairbanks Republican March 4, 1897 March 4, 1905 Resigned Vice President of the United States (1905–1909)
James A. Hemenway Republican March 4, 1905 March 4, 1909 Lost re-election  
Benjamin F. Shiveley Democratic March 4, 1909 March 14, 1916 Died  
Thomas Taggart Democratic March 20, 1916 November 7, 1916 Lost special election  
James Eli Watson Republican November 8, 1916 March 4, 1933 Lost re-election Senate Majority Leader (1929–1933)
Frederick Van Nuys Democratic March 4, 1933 January 25, 1944 Died President pro tem. of the Indiana Senate (1939–1941)
Samuel D. Jackson Democratic January 28, 1944 November 13, 1944 Retired Indiana Attorney General (1940–1941)
William E. Jenner Republican November 14, 1944 January 3, 1945 Retired President pro tem. of the Indiana Senate (1939–1941)
Also held Indiana's class I seat
Homer E. Capehart Republican January 3, 1945 January 3, 1963 Lost re-election  
Birch Bayh Democratic January 3, 1963 January 3, 1981 Lost re-election Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives (1959)
Dan Quayle Republican January 3, 1981 January 3, 1989 Resigned Vice President of the United States (1989–1993)
Dan Coats Republican January 3, 1989 January 3, 1999 Retired United States Ambassador to Germany (2001–2005)
Evan Bayh Democratic January 3, 1999 Incumbent   Governor of Indiana (1989–1997)

 


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