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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 12:19 pm

3 senators seek to replace pro-tem

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Rumors of a coup in the Indiana Senate have been greatly exaggerated.

Three senators are seeking to replace Fort Wayne GOP Senate President Pro Tem David Long, who announced in February he is leaving his post the day after the November election.

Lobbyists and lawmakers – even across the hall in the House – have been abuzz the last few days with rumors that some wanted to take Long out early.

He dismissed any such talk, saying the caucus is just trying to figure out where the candidates are in the race to replace him.

One possibility is Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, who sent out a ballot or pledge sheet earlier this week to gauge support for November.

But he didn't want to talk about it, saying "it's too early to make public announcements."
Two others vying to lead the Senate Republican caucus are Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, and Sen. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville.

"It's been a friendly discussion," said Sen. Sue Glick R-LaGrange.

Some in the caucus would like to have a leader chosen before the session adjourns tonight. That would make it easier for the Senate Majority Campaign Committee to fundraise for the May primaries and fall general election.

No formal votes have been taken. And even if they had, it would be non-binding because there is no vacancy in the Pro Tem office until Long officially resigns.

"Some people are pledging support," Glick said. "We are just trying to get a consensus."