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Bauer's fate could be decided Thursday

Leader has cleaned out Statehouse office


INDIANAPOLIS– A second attempt to oust House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer is scheduled for Thursday in Lafayette.

It is unclear whether those orchestrating the coup will have enough members to take a leadership vote. An effort earlier this month fizzled because there wasn't a quorum.

But three sources told the Journal Gazette Wednesday morning that Bauer has cleaned out his Statehouse office.

Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, said he won't be attending the caucus. Instead, he is focusing on winning his race by working hard on the campaign trail, raising money, talking to voters and making calls.

"I am not involved whatsoever," he said of the political turmoil. "I need to focus here."

Moses said if he wins his re-election campaign he will be there in November – the normal time to take a vote on leadership.

"The best thing I can do is win," he said. "When I get there we'll make strong decisions about leadership."

Bauer has been in the House since 1970, and has led the caucus since 2003 – including several years as speaker.

But the Democrats have been in the minority for several years now and are down to just 40 members. Some in the caucus are afraid that after this year's election in newly drawn districts that number could drop even farther.

Complaints about how Bauer is handling the finances of the caucus during this key election season are at the forefront of the rebellion.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.