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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, May 26, 2019 1:00 am

State GOP chair joins RNC panel

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer was unanimously elected to serve on the Republican National Committee Budget Committee during a meeting of the RNC's Midwest Caucus.

He was nominated by RNC Committeeman John Hammond, and will be the new Midwest representative. Hupfer will be responsible for helping manage the national Republican Party's budget going into the 2020 election cycle, which will include budget planning for the 2020 Republican National Convention, battleground races and the presidential election.

“Indiana is known as a leader in sound budgeting and strong balance sheets. I look forward to applying these Hoosier principles I've built over my career to our national party's budget going into a critical election year,” Hupfer said.

In addition to his new role, Hupfer will continue to serve as chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, as well as the treasurer of the Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign.

Statehouse sees press corps shrink

The Statehouse press corps took a big hit as soon as the legislative session ended with three publications making major changes to their Capitol coverage.

First was the Associated Press deciding not to replace reporter Brian Slodysko, who left several months ago to take a new position in Washington, D.C. Reporter Tom Davies covered the session and will still be charged with handling state news but also has other duties.

Next came word that the Indianapolis Star moved one of the two reporters assigned to state coverage – Kaitlin Lange – to the Carmel beat instead of hiring from outside for that post.

That leaves Chris Sikich still on the government beat, though he will likely be busy keeping tabs on Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

And finally, the Times of Northwest Indiana has shuttered its Indianapolis bureau – moving reporter Dan Carden back to the region. He will continue to cover state news from afar as well as keep track of casino happenings.

Good news is that CNHI – which owns 13 newspapers and publications in Indiana – is replacing retiring reporter Scott Miley.

Black caucus to visit city

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus will visit Fort Wayne during its annual series of town halls across the state.

In all, caucus members will visit seven locations across Indiana through the end of August.

“These events serve two valuable functions for the IBLC,” said Caucus Chair Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis. “It affords our members the chance to review the work of the Indiana General Assembly during the 2019 session. In addition, even though we just finished our work for 2019, the planning already has started for the 2020 legislative session. We want to hear from the people of Indiana what they want to see lawmakers do next year.”

The Fort Wayne event is noon to 2 p.m. June 15 at Turner Chapel AME Church, 836 E. Jefferson Blvd.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.