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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, November 19, 2017 1:00 am

GOP Senate candidate's exit cuts field to 5

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The field for Indiana's primary election for a U.S. Senate nomination is a little less crowded.

Hamilton County businessman Terry Henderson has suspended his campaign, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported recently. Henderson was among six Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination next spring to oppose Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the 2018 general election.

Henderson told IBJ he was leaving the race because “it was going to be enormously expensive in order to get the necessary name recognition.” He also said, “The only real way to come up with those kinds of funds is to personal-finance.”

Henderson raised just $5,400 in campaign contributions through September while lending his campaign $250,000 of his own money, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. He reported having $100,000 in cash on hand on Sept. 30, compared with $4.6 million for Donnelly, $2.4 million apiece for Republican U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, and $1 million for former Republican state representative Mike Braun.

Others seeking the Republican Senate nomination are Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt and New Albany college administrator Andrew Takami. Lake County resident Martin Del Rio announced recently plans to run against Donnelly in the Democratic primary election.

Local woman tapped for series

Tinisha Weigelt of Roanoke is among 20 women chosen for the 2017-18 class of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series.

Weigelt is office administrator and financial administrator for the district office of freshman Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd. Before joining Banks, she worked for Randy Forbes, a former Republican U.S. representative from Virginia.

Co-founded in 1990 by then-U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, the Lugar Series says its mission is to “increase the number and influence of Republican women in elected and appointed governmental positions at the local, state and federal levels.” Nearly 500 women have graduated from the series.

Class members meet monthly to learn skills to become public servants and run campaigns, network with state and local leaders and listen to business professionals discuss issues. They will travel in the spring to Washington, D.C., to meet with Indiana's congressional delegation.

Banks receives endorsement

Pro-Trump political action committee Indiana First PAC endorsed Indiana Congressman Jim Banks last week, citing his leadership on veterans affairs. A freshman representative, Banks is running for re-election in Indiana's 3rd District.

“Jim is an impressive leader, consistently fighting for veterans and President Trump's America First agenda,” PAC policy director Grant Edwards said. “His record speaks for itself, and we are proud to endorse his re-election bid.”

He added that “President Trump needs more leaders like Jim in Congress. His work on the medical device tax and the Veterans Crisis Line is laudable. As our first endorsement, he embodies the sort of pro-business, pro-middle class candidate we want to support.”

Founded by campaign veterans, Indiana First PAC aims to influence 500,000 Hoosier voters ahead of 2018 in support of pro-Trump candidates with an eye on several key races in primaries across the state.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at