Political Notebook

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New political reality coming

It's going to be a new political reality at the Indiana Statehouse next year.

In telling the Fort Wayne City Council it must fight as hard as it can for its needs at the legislature next session, John Ketzenberger said the atmosphere will be much different than in years past.

That's because state government is losing a huge amount of institutional knowledge next year, according to the president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

Not only will there be a new governor, but 40 percent of the state legislature will be in its first or second terms – barring upsets that could make that number even higher.

He specifically mentioned the retiring of Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, and Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis. The two men serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and will take with them a combined 80 years of experience.

Locally there will be at least three new state representatives: in newly-drawn District 82; District 51, where Republican Rep. Dick Dodge is retiring; and District 52, where Rep. David Yarde did not seek another term.

In total seven Republicans and 12 Democrats in the House did not seek re-election. Two GOP senators also are not running again.

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