Indiana Election Results: Women stem the red tide of Indiana
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - It was no coincidence that some election history was made in Delaware County as well as Indiana when it comes to electing women.
As national political pundits carried on about more women elected to Congress as well as making the difference in the re-election of President Barack Obama, plenty of electing women firsts were made locally.
Consider Republican Sherry Riggin being the first woman other than a widow serving as a Delaware County Commissioner that has been dominated by men since the local government was created in the Indiana Constitution.
And Delaware County has never had three female circuit court judges until attorney Kim Dowling beat Republican Circuit Court 2 Judge Alan Wilson, a former Muncie mayor. And Dowling even won owning the federal government $182,000 in back taxes after taking an European vacation while driving a new Cadillac to work..
Dowlng joins Circuit 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees and Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Wolf as local bench warmers. Add lowly Muncie City Court judge Dianne Bennington and the party becomes four.
And a pair of women also were elected to school boards in Muncie and Yorktown, another first for local school boards. Debbie Feick, wife of Circuit Court 4 Judge John Feick, and a former Muncie School Board member himself, was elected along with Beverly Kelley who was re-elected to the board.
And lab worker Cathy Alexander won re-election to the Yorktown School Board while retired teacher Margery Frank, who everyone seems to know, was elected too.
Newly elected Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, the formerly elected state senator, agreed that women were the demographic to watch in Tuesday's election and pointed to another first at the Statehouse.
House Democrats put Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, in charge of their caucus last summer, replacing longtime, bad hair minority leader and former Speaker Pat Bauer of South Bend. At no time in Statehouse history have women led the Legislature let alone have a woman as governor.
And Indiana pulled another first sending two women to the U.S. Congress, despite them being Republicans.
Former federal prosecutor Susan Brooks is the new 5th congressional district representative while Tea Party state lawmaker Jackie Walorski is the new 2nd district congressman.
It is important to note that women generally vote more than men, and that more women are being elected to office, says Sally Jo Vasicko, a Ball State University political science professor.
Vasicko, who is usually too busy to talk because she is attending a meeting, said there were growing numbers of women being elected to offices other than clerk, auditor or treasurer.
Riggin, who uses to work in the county auditor's office, said she reached out to many women at church, in social circles and other institutions to vote for her. And her extended Riggin family has hundreds of women.
And a woman replacing a man as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction as teacher Glenda Ritz soundly beat Republican incumbent Tony Bennett which came as a surprise to lame stream media as my Hollywood friends says.
The only woman who bucked the trend was Ivy Tech student Ashlee Batt who said she was young and dumb for filing bankruptcy when she was 21 years old.