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AP: Republican Eric Holcomb wins reelection as Indiana governor

Republicans won continued control of the Indiana governor’s office as voters cast the final ballots Tuesday, although Democrats had some chances to claw back to greater political relevance in the state.

Posted: Nov 3, 2020 7:07 PM
Updated: Nov 3, 2020 9:33 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans won continued control of the Indiana governor’s office as voters cast the final ballots Tuesday, although Democrats had some chances to claw back to greater political relevance in the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb won reelection and President Donald Trump appeared likely to also win the state. Democrats, meanwhile, concentrated their fall campaigns on capturing the state attorney general’s office and a central Indiana congressional seat that’s competitive after decades as a GOP bastion.

A record number of more than 1.7 million voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day as coronavirus health concerns prompted more use of mail-in ballots and early voting sites.

GOVERNOR’S RACE
Holcomb won a second four-year term as governor, fending off challengers who criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Holcomb went into his campaign for a second term with a huge fundraising advantage and didn’t face any well-known challengers.

Holcomb sidestepped any criticism of President Donald Trump even as Holcomb promoted face mask use and issued a statewide mask mandate in July.

Holcomb overcame Democrat Woody Myer, a former state health commissioner who called for tougher anti-virus actions as Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations climbed steeply since nearly all state restrictions were lifted in September.

Some conservatives called Holcomb’s actions excessive and were, instead, backing Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater.

Holcomb was lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Mike Pence and replaced Pence as the Republican governor candidate in 2016 after Pence became Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

LINES AND LOTS OF COUNTING

Long lines of voters formed at some polling places in Indianapolis and its suburbs before doors opened in the cold, predawn darkness.

Many polling sites continued to see lines into Tuesday evening but most were expected to wrap up soon after the 6 p.m. closing time, said Russell Hollis, deputy director of the Marion County clerk’s office.

“Overall, things have gone well. It's been an interesting day with lines, but other than that, things for the most part have all gone pretty smooth,” Hollis said.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hollis said election officials had processed 50,700 early ballots from Indianapolis voters. With about 160,000 such ballots still needing processed, Hollis said it will likely take the rest of the week before all are counted.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said the record number of mail-in ballots around the state means people might need to be patient while waiting for election results.

“That is perfectly reasonable given the circumstances," Zody said. “I’m willing to experience a little bit of a delay here if that means all the votes are going to be counted in the right way.”

PRESIDENTIAL VOTING

Indiana, the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, appeared securely in Trump’s column as Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign paid little attention to the state that has gone for Republican candidates in 12 of the last 13 presidential elections.

Trump won Indiana by 19 percentage points in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. Republicans admitted his popularity had eroded in some areas, contributing to a contentious campaign for a longtime GOP-controlled congressional district in suburban Indianapolis that Democrats were trying to capture.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita is trying to extend the Republican hold on the state attorney general’s office against Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel, a former Evansville mayor.

Rokita narrowly won the Republican nomination over current Attorney General Curtis Hill, whose law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court over allegations that he drunkenly groped four women during a party.

Rokita's campaign announced Tuesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms” but was doing well.

He planned to watch Tuesday’s election returns at home with his family.

Weinzapfel was aiming to break the complete control Republicans have had on statewide offices the past four years and become the first Democrat to win a statewide election since 2012. Rokita, a contentious conservative, was looking for a political comeback after losing the 2018 Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

HOT US HOUSE RACE

Indiana’s highest-profile congressional race in years has Republican Victoria Spartz facing Democrat Christina Hale for central Indiana’s 5th District seat following the retirement of current GOP Rep. Susan Brooks.

At least $15 million was sunk into the race, with national party organizations and dark-money groups spending heavily for the district centered on the northern suburbs of Indianapolis that Republicans have controlled for more than five decades.

Spartz won a crowded Republican primary race that largely turned into a contest of loyalty to Trump. But she afterward shifted away from talking about Trump during the general election campaign.

Meanwhile, Democrat Frank Mrvan is heavily favored to win election to replace retiring Rep. Pete Visclosky in the party’s 1st District northwestern Indiana stronghold. A change in party control was unlikely in the state’s seven other U.S. House seats.

STATE LEGISLATURE

The northern Indianapolis suburbs were also the site of several hotly contested races for state legislative seats where Democrats were seeking to oust Republican lawmakers.

Those included Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, who was facing voters in his Fishers district for the first time since taking over the top legislative position in March.

Republicans were likely to retain strong majorities in both the Indiana House and Senate, but Democrats have a chance to break the two-thirds GOP supermajority in the House that gives them total control over legislative action.

___

In the 2020 U.S. general election, The Associated Press will declare winners in more than 7,000 races – starting with the White House and reaching down the ballot to every seat in every state legislature. To do so, AP uses regional stringers who collect votes at a local level, while other AP journalists gather results from state or county websites, as well as via electronic data feeds from states. Calling a race for one candidate or another depends on a complex formula that involves looking at the number of votes counted, historical data and a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate, among other things.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 662213

Reported Deaths: 12595
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907061645
Lake48425878
Allen35861636
Hamilton32099397
St. Joseph29996512
Elkhart25386415
Vanderburgh21247378
Tippecanoe20024201
Johnson16349360
Porter15975270
Hendricks15825300
Clark11965181
Madison11746318
Vigo11612229
Monroe10333161
Delaware9838179
LaPorte9772196
Howard9056197
Kosciusko8562110
Bartholomew7456147
Warrick7416151
Hancock7409131
Floyd7207169
Wayne6633191
Grant6427157
Morgan6092125
Boone609088
Dubois5910111
Dearborn547467
Cass544499
Marshall5425104
Henry542393
Noble509378
Jackson464767
Shelby460690
Lawrence4184112
Gibson401281
Harrison399864
Clinton395853
Montgomery387083
DeKalb385278
Knox357485
Miami357463
Whitley349436
Huntington344476
Steuben338355
Wabash331476
Putnam330559
Ripley327161
Adams323549
Jasper316143
White297352
Jefferson294973
Daviess285396
Fayette271956
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260931
Wells258275
Scott250350
Clay241444
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217330
Jennings215244
Washington211227
Sullivan203439
Fountain201542
Starke188151
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177828
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164822
Vermillion160542
Franklin159435
Tipton146441
Parke139316
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown95039
Benton92013
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67110
Ohio53711
Unassigned0433

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