Ind. (AP) — Rep. Patrick Bauer conceded defeat Thursday in his battle
to keep his job leading Indiana House Democrats, congratulating Rep.
Linda Lawson as his successor after a majority of the caucus voted to
did not attend the meeting of disgruntled Democrats at a union hall in
Lafayette, said he disagreed with the outcome but would not contest
it. He had represented the caucus for a decade, most of that time as
no question it was painful because these were people who I helped get
elected," Bauer said after the vote. He said he supported the
selection of Lawson, a retired Hammond police officer, and would
continue helping Democratic candidates.
Representative Lawson is a great leader. She has a great background,
particularly in standing up for working people," Bauer said.
about what drove members of the caucus to vote for Bauer's removal
amid Democrats' general election bid to regain seats, Lawson said it
was a "myriad of problems that we couldn't get resolved."
unhappy with Bauer's unilateral decision-making, she said.
40 heads are better than one," Lawson said.
ouster occurred during a meeting attended by 23 of the 40 members of
the caucus. Afterward, they refused to say how each member present had
also picked three caucus members to act as deputies to Lawson in
running the Democratic House campaigns: Ryan Dvorak of South Bend,
Matt Pierce of Bloomington and Craig Fry of Mishawaka.
Democrats were unhappy with Bauer's handling of campaign fundraising
and spending heading into November, where they're hoping to shore up
their position after bruising losses in 2010 gave Republicans a 60-40
majority in the House.
House Speaker Brian Bosma has said he believes the GOP can win 67
seats in November. That would give Republicans a super majority
allowing them to conduct business without any Democrats present.
happens, it would remove the last vestiges of clout held by Democrats,
who, under Bauer, staged consecutive walkouts in 2011 and 2012 in an
effort to block divisive right-to-work legislation. The five-week
walkout succeeded in blocking the legislation in 2011, but periodic
walkouts failed to derail the measure this year, and Gov. Mitch
Daniels signed it into law.
Wednesday that the caucus began to splinter during the 2011 walkout,
when some members stayed in an Urbana, Ill., hotel while others
remained in Indianapolis.