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The Indiana Daily Student

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A guide to Indiana’s statewide May primaries for Monroe County voters

2024elections-illo

Editors note: This is part of a series of stories covering the 2024 elections. Read the rest of the stories on our website.

State Offices 

There will be three hotly contested primaries in Indiana held May 7, between each party’s candidates for Indiana’s Governor, Attorney General and Senator.  

Governor 

Indiana’s gubernatorial office is being fought for in a fierce Republican contest and Democratic and Libertarian primaries. It is the most expensive gubernatorial primary in Indiana’s history.

The two Democratic contenders who made it to the primary ballot are Jennifer McCormick and Tamie Dixon-Tatum. 

A former Republican Indiana state superintendent of public instruction turned Democrat, McCormick’s campaign has focused on ending what she deems divisive policy and politics in state government.  

Tamie Dixon-Tatum, a juvenile treatment court case manager and director of human relations for the city of Anderson, is also running for the seat as a Democrat. She has held a variety of jobs in the legal field and co-hosts a radio program about successful businesses in Anderson. 

Six Republicans — Mike Braun, Brad Chambers, Suzanne Crouch, Eric Doden, Curtis Hill and Jaime Reitenour — are vying for their party’s nomination for the head of the state’s executive branch. 

Braun, who currently serves as one of Indiana’s two senators in Washington D.C., is the current frontrunner for the governorship, according to his campaign’s internal polling. Former U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed Braun for governor in November 2023.  

Indiana’s former Secretary for Commerce, Brad Chambers, has focused his messaging on being a political outsider who has not run for office before. He has introduced various plans for his potential term, including for education, law enforcement and “Combatting China.” 

Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s current Lieutenant Governor, plans to get rid of Indiana’s state income tax if elected. She formerly served as a state representative and state auditor. Crouch has been endorsed by several former and current house representatives for Indiana, including Greg Pence, Larry Bucshon and Dan Burton. 

Eric Doden, the former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, is campaigning on a plan to develop Indiana small towns and create jobs in the state. He founded Domo Development Company, a residential and commercial development group, in 2012 and has served as its principal for the last 12 years. 

Curtis Hill, a former Elkhart County prosecutor, served as Indiana’s Attorney General from 2017-2021. His campaign site promotes a plan of “putting Indiana first.”  In 2018, several women accused Hill of groping them at a bar. Hill denied these allegations and sought re-election to his position in 2020. He was defeated in the primary by now-Attorney General Todd Rokita.  

Jaime Reitenour, a candidate with no prior political experience, said in an interview with Fox59 that she was “called by God to run for Governor.” On her website, Reitenour promotes fiscal responsibility, economic growth and promoting family values as priorities. 

Donald Rainwater, the only Libertarian running for the governorship, wants to reduce or eliminate income, gas, property, utility and vehicle excise taxes. He received 11.4% of the vote in Indiana’s 2020 gubernatorial election. 

Attorney General 

Two Democrats — Destiny Scott Wells and Beth White — are seeking to unseat incumbent Attorney General Republican Todd Rokita. 

Wells, a veteran who served in the Army National Guard, lost the race for Indiana’s Secretary of State in 2022. She has served in numerous military and law-related positions, most recently serving as Deputy Chair for Coalitions and Expansion for the Indiana Democratic Party since May 2021. 

White, current president and CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, also announced she would run for the office. She has worked in various policy and government-related roles around Indianapolis, including as the Marion County Clerk from 2006-2014. 

A former Indiana Secretary of State from 2002-2010 and Representative for Indiana’s 4th district, Republican Todd Rokita has had a complicated and controversial tenure as attorney general, the position he has served in since 2021. In September 2023, the Disciplinary Commission of the Indiana Supreme Court filed misconduct charges against Rokita for an extrajudicial statement against IU gynecologist Caitlin Bernard who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old victim of rape. 

Senator 

Two Republicans and two Democrats are vying to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Democratic contenders include Marc Carmichael and Valerie McCray. 

Carmichael previously served in the Indiana House from 1986-1991. He worked as the president of the Indiana Beverage Alliance from 1999-2020, a trade alliance for family-owned beer distributors. 

McCray, who has worked as a clinical psychologist for almost 23 years, said on her website she would make mental health a priority in policymaking. If elected, she would become the first Black woman to represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate. 

“We need a Psychologist in Congress that understands how U.S. policy profoundly effects the mental well-being of our people,” her website reads. 

Two Republicans — Jim Banks and John Rust — are looking for their party's nomination to represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate, an office left behind by now-gubernatorial candidate Mike Braun. 

Banks has represented Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District in congress since 2017. An IU graduate, Banks served in Afghanistan from 2014-15 in the middle of his term in the Indiana State Senate from 2010-16. Banks wrote a publicized letter to IU President Pamela Whitten in November 2023, asking her to respond to a series of questions about alleged antisemitism on IU’s campus. Donald Trump endorsed him in February 2023. 

It is still unclear whether Rust, a southern Indiana egg farmer, will be on the primary ballot. Indiana ballot access law requires candidates to have voted in that party’s primary in the last two primary elections they voted in or receive permission from their county’s party leader. Rust has fulfilled neither requirement, but the Indiana Supreme Court is currently hearing his case for being on the ballot. 

Andy Horning is seeking the seat as a Libertarian. Horning previously lost, also as a Libertarian, against Larry Bucshon in the 8th Congressional District in the 2022 midterms. He received 3% of the vote. 

U.S. House District 9 

There are four candidates running to represent Indiana’s 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat currently held by Republican Erin Houchin. 

The 9th  Congressional district spans south central and southeastern Indiana, covering the south suburbs of Indianapolis down to Indiana’s side in the Louisville metropolitan area. It also encompasses Bloomington and Bedford.  

Two Democrats — D. Liam Dorris and Timothy Peck – have filed declarations of candidacy for the seat, along with two Republicans — Erin Houchin and Hugh Doty. 

Dorris is a perennial candidate for the seat, having been a U.S. Congressional candidate since 2019. He aligns himself with the Democratic Socialists of America and social democracy. Dorris’ campaign focuses on issues like economic justice, promoting workers’ rights and unions, tuition-free public college, Medicare and the right to freedom for all.  

A former Harvard Medical School physician and teacher, Peck is campaigning on a variety of priorities, including strengthening farming communities, removing government from doctor-patient relationships and advocating for the lives of pregnant women and girls, emphasizing a balanced tax system and providing mental health resources. Peck has founded several health technology companies and worked in Washington, D.C. to introduce telemedicine legislation. 

Houchin has served as the 9th Congressional district’s representative since 2023, and her current term is set to end in 2025. Houchin earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University, and currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the House Rules Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee.  

Houchin also previously represented the 47th district in the Indiana Senate from 2014-2022.  

For Doty, a newcomer to the race, priorities lie in securing the United States borders, reducing national debt, unlocking American energy, increasing pay for public educators, promoting trade schools and championing freedom of speech, according to his campaign website.  

Indiana Legislature 

Indiana’s state legislature will have many contested and uncontested elections. Here are the candidates running in districts in and surrounding Monroe County. 

Statehouse 

Incumbent Democrat Matt Pierce is running uncontested to represent District 61, which includes Bloomington, in the Indiana House of Representatives. Pierce has represented the district since 2002. He currently serves as the Assistant Democratic Floor Leader and is the ranking minority member of the Indiana House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee. In addition, he is a graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and is a senior lecturer of telecommunications.  

One Republican, Dave Hall, and one Democrat, Thomas Horrocks, are competing for the District 62 seat, which includes all of Brown County and portions of Monroe and Jackson counties.  

Hall has held the District 62 seat since 2022 and has supported measures such as term limits for U.S. Senators and members of Congress and offering a 13th check to public retirees.  

Horrocks, a Christian pastor in Southern Indiana and chaplain in the Indiana Army National Guard, plans to work toward universal pre-K if elected, as well as environmental protection, affordable living and protections for people of color, women and LGBTQ+ people.  

In District 46, which encompasses Ellettsville, Spencer, Freedom, Gosport and Terre Haute, incumbent Bob Heaton, a Republican, is running against Democrat Kurtis Cummings.  

Heaton has held the district seat since 2010 and has served on several youth and faith-related boards in the Wabash Valley. He also serves on the Higher Education Committee, the Ways and Means Committee and the Financial Institutions Committee.  

Cummings is the founder of Switchyard Brewing Company in Bloomington, which closed permanently in January. His campaign focuses on community connection, and Cummings said he does not take campaign contributions from big corporations.  

Republican incumbent Peggy Mayfield and Democratic candidate Michelle Higgs are in the race to represent District 60. The district spans portions of Johnson, Morgan and Monroe counties.  

Mayfield has held the position since 2012, and is a member of multiple other positions within the state legislature. Her priority issues include education, economic development, veterans’ issues, law enforcement and protection of the unborn, according to her caucus page.  

Higgs is running unopposed on the Democratic side. Higgs is a former chair of the Greater Indiana Chapter of Hoosier Action, an organization focusing on building the political power of families and communities in rural Indiana.

State senate districts  

In District 40, which ranges across Monroe County, Sen. Shelli Yoder is running on the Democratic side. Yoder has represented Monroe County since her election in 2020. Yoder’s priorities include protecting the environment and wildlife, addressing anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes, reproductive justice, criminal justice reform and ending gun violence.  

District 44 — representing Brown, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties, with portions of Monroe — also sees an uncontested run, with current Republican incumbent Eric Koch as the sole candidate. Koch, who was elected in 2016, centers his work around energy, telecommunications and water policy interactions. Koch is an attorney in Bloomington.  

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Michelle Higgs as the owner of Higgs Communications LLC and the membership director of Hoosier Action. Higgs Communications LLC is owned by her spouse, Simon Higgs, and she had left Hoosier Action in 2023.

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