Political Notebook


Hoosier senators first pair of transplants since early 1900s

Indiana Legislative Insight, a weekly newsletter on government and politics, points out that Indiana is represented for the first time in more than a century by two U.S. senators who were born outside the state.

Republican Sen. Dan Coats hails from Jackson, Mich., and Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, who was sworn in last week, is a native of Massapequa, N.Y.

Coats arrived in the Hoosier State in the late 1960s to study at Indiana University's School of Law before working at a Fort Wayne insurance company. Donnelly has lived in Indiana since the mid-1970s, when he was a student at the University of Notre Dame and then a lawyer in St. Joseph County.

Ohio natives Charles Fairbanks and Albert Beveridge, both Republicans, were senators from Indiana for six years beginning March 4, 1899, when Beveridge joined the chamber. At the time, senators were appointed by state legislatures.

In 1905, Fairbanks became vice president in President Theodore Roosevelt's second term and was replaced in the Senate by James Hemenway, who was born in Boonville.

Fairbanks, Alaska, is named for the Hoosier senator, As a member of a commission that tried to set the U.S.-Canada boundary in Alaska, Fairbanks opposed giving away as much as "an inch" of American soil, according to his biography at www.senate.gov.

Since Beveridge left the Senate in 1911, Indiana has been served in the chamber by two other transplants -- Democrat Thomas Taggart, who was born in Ireland and was an appointed member of the Senate in 1916, and Republican Arthur Raymond Robinson, a native of Pickerington, Ohio, and an elected senator from 1925 to 1935.