Chesterton Tribune

Lawson: House Dems need unity to succeed in November

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) The new leader of minority Democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives says her caucus faces an uphill battle holding onto all of its 40 current seats in the November elections.

Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond believes it will take a group effort for Democrats to maintain the 40 seats and perhaps pick off a few of the 60 Republican seats after legislative district boundaries were redrawn last year to benefit Republican candidates.

Ive looked at the numbers, and realistically its a really tough uphill battle for us to win a bunch of seats, Lawson told The Times of Munster in an interview published Sunday. But its a good team.

The seven-term representative was elected House Democratic leader Thursday, replacing state Rep. Pat Bauer of South Bend.

I was terrified, I was sick to my stomach, I thought I was going to die, Lawson told the newspaper of becoming House Democratic leader. But by Friday afternoon, the nervous feelings had turned into excitement.

Its going to be a lot of fun, she said. My goal is that we can continue that spirit of camaraderie and teamwork where we work together, iron out our problems and come up with the best solution.

She said bringing supporters of the ousted Bauer back into the fold will be an essential task when the caucus meets again next week. Bauer has thrown his support behind Lawson. For the past two years, Lawson served as Bauers deputy.

Democrats arent saying who their leader might be after Election Day, but Lawson said she would be willing to stay on if the core group that made her leader continued to share the workload. Otherwise, she would be content with returning to the No. 2 House Democrat role.

I know there are some people who really want this and that would be fine with me, she said. I never really had these kinds of aspirations."


Posted 7/30/2012