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The Journal Gazette

Monday, November 27, 2017 12:22 pm

GiaQuinta defeated in race for House Democratic leader

Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- House Democrats chose a new leader Monday in a private caucus, with Rep. Terry Goodin of Austin defeating Fort Wayne Rep. Phil GiaQuinta.

Goodin -- a public school superintendent -- takes over for Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, who resigned his leadership post last week.

"The hair is finally laying down on my arms. As we move forward we have a lot of work to do," Goodin said. "The Democrats are going to have a new face, a good message and as we move forward everybody's going to be on the same page."

Democrats have only 30 seats in the 100-member Indiana House, which is dominated by Republicans.

Goodin said his caucus will reveal priorities closer to when the session starts Jan. 3.

The one-ballot election was said to be courteous and close.

"Look, anytime you put yourself out there and it doesn't go your way, you're obviously disappointed," GiaQuinta said. "But we'll move forward with leader Goodin and take it from there as we head into session."

Goodin has served in the Indiana House since 2000 and is knowledgeable on education topics. He votes with Republicans on a number of social issues.

According to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce 2017 Legislator vote scores, Goodin voted with the Chmber position 65 percent of the time.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 1 a.m. Tuesday.