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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Justin Busch speaks Tuesday evening at Allen County Republican Headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne before Republican Party precinct officials in state Senate District 16 elected him to fill the term of retiring Sen. David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018 7:30 pm

Justin Busch chosen to replace David Long in state Senate

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Allen County Councilman Justin Busch will replace retiring state Sen. David Long, R-Fort Wayne, in the General Assembly.

Busch defeated Tom Rhoades by a 51-35 vote Tuesday evening at a Republican caucus of Senate District 16 precinct officials. The district consists of western Allen County, including the western half of Fort Wayne, and the eastern edge of Whitley County.

Long, the Senate's president pro tem, announced in February he would resign Nov. 7, the day after this year's general election. His four-year term expires in 2020.

Long, 63, has been a state senator since 1996 and the chamber's leader since 2006. He is general counsel for Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne and a former member of the Fort Wayne City Council.

Busch, 38, is the northeast Indiana director for Republican U.S. Sen. Todd Young. Busch has been an aide to U.S. Sens. Dan Coats and Richard Lugar, and he worked for the George W. Bush administration.

A GOP caucus in 2016 chose Busch to fill a County Council at-large term left vacant by the death of Roy Buskirk. The Allen County Republican Party will schedule a caucus to fill Busch's vacant term, which expires in 2020.

Busch announced in April that he would seek to replace Long. Rhoades announced his candidacy early this month.

Rhoades is police chief and public safety director for Parkview Health. He is a former captain with the Fort Wayne Police Department and vice president of the Southwest Allen County Schools board.

A senator's base salary is nearly $26,000 a year plus expenses. The 50-member Senate is typically in session for 61 days in even-numbered years and 30 days in odd-numbered years.