INDIANAPOLIS – House Democrats gathered Thursday to tap Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, as the caucuss leader.
The move came just two days after Republicans took control of 69 seats in the Indiana House. The small Democratic caucus wont be able to break a quorum to stop business in the chamber.
The election was rough in many ways, Pelath said. What we have right now is each other.
He has been in the Indiana House since 1998 and is a human resources director in LaPorte County.
Pelath said the caucus would focus on offering an alternative vision for the state, criticizing when appropriate and helping when Democrats believe a proposal is reasonable and helps working Hoosiers.
The three other legislative caucuses chose their leaders Wednesday.
Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, returns as speaker of the Housep; Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, was re-elected to his post; and Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, was chosen to take over as leader for the Senate Democratic caucus after Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, didnt seek re-election.
For the House Democrats, its the second leadership change in only a few months. The caucus ousted longtime leader Rep. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, in July after dissension in the ranks. He remains a caucus member but is no longer in leadership.
Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, took over between then and the election. She is now the Democratic floor leader. And Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, is caucus chair.