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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 22, 2018 1:00 am

Tritch gets endorsement from Angola mayor

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Courtney Tritch's congressional campaign announced last week that she has been endorsed by Angola Mayor Richard Hickman.

Tritch seeks the Democratic nomination in northeast Indiana's 3rd Congressional District. She faces John Roberson and Tommy Schrader in the May 8 primary election.

“I've known Courtney for several years, and I've always been impressed by her intelligence, work ethic, and drive to bring people together,” Hickman, a Democrat, said in a statement. “She will bring a fresh and much-needed perspective to the U.S. House of Representatives.”

The Journal Gazette reported earlier that Hickman's campaign committee had given $1,000 to Tritch's campaign during the first quarter of this year.

The Democratic primary winner will face Republican Rep. Jim Banks in the Nov. 6 general election. Banks is unopposed in the GOP primary.

Long, Bosma all patched up

In the wee morning hours of March 15, tension was high between GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long of Fort Wayne.

The leaders had just failed to finish the regular legislative session on time – killing a number of bills.

Then Bosma had a press conference where he laid much of the blame for the meltdown on the Senate.

Long responded quickly, defending himself and his members and taking his own shots.

But more than a month later the men appeared Friday to talk about the special session and seemed collegial once again.

“We were frustrated,” Long said. “It was a moment in time. We've been fine ever since.”

Bosma then draped his arm around Long for a man-hug, calling him his brother.

“We got a little sleep,” Bosma said. “We might have shared a very small glass of bourbon.”

Busch announces bid for Long seat

An Allen County Council member will seek to replace outgoing State Sen. David Long when he retires later this year. Justin Busch, a Republican at-large member of the Allen County Council, announced his plan in a news release Thursday.

“Senator Long will leave very big shoes to fill when he officially retires this fall. His leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to northeast Indiana is something that I will work to emulate,” Busch said in a statement. “I look forward to listening to Hoosiers across the district and having a conversation with my fellow precinct committeemen about the reasons I'd be honored to serve them in the legislature.”

Busch worked in the administration of former President George W. Bush and served as a former aide to U.S. Sens. Dan Coats and Richard Lugar. He is currently the northeast Indiana director for U.S. Sen. Todd Young.

Rokita rating: 100

The American Conservative Union Foundation rated Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th, as the most conservative member of the 11-person Indiana congressional delegation during 2017.

Rokita, who seeks the Republican nomination for a Senate seat from Indiana, received a 100 percent score from the foundation for his votes last year on 25 selected bills.

The conservative advocacy group released its 47th annual ratings for Congress on Wednesday.

Rep. Luke Messer, R-4th – one of Rokita's two rivals for the Senate nomination – received a 96 percent score, parting from the foundation position on one vote. Messer was followed by Reps. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, who scored 93 percent each.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., scored 80 percent for 21 votes the organization tracked in the Senate. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., scored zero percent, even though he voted in favor of confirming Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, which the foundation strongly supported.

But instead of scoring the confirmation vote, the foundation scored an earlier Senate motion lowering the threshold for confirming Gorsuch from 60 votes to 51. Every Democratic senator, including Donnelly, opposed that move.

Among legislation the group tracked were the tax cuts package and Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, repeal the Affordable Care Act and eliminate the Dodd-Frank banking regulations.

Other Indiana scores included Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-9th, 88 percent; Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th, 78 percent; Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-8th, 74 percent; Rep. Andre Carson, D-7th, 8 percent; and Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, 4 percent.

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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