Indiana Republican Party
|Republican Party of Indiana|
|Governor of Indiana||Mike Pence|
|Headquarters||47 S. Meridian Street, 2nd Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
|Student wing||Indiana Federation of College Republicans|
|United States Senate delegation|
|United States House of Representatives delegation|
|Indiana State Senate|
|Indiana House of Representatives|
|Politics of Indiana
The Indiana Republican Party is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party (GOP) in the state of Indiana. The chairman of the Indiana Republican State Committee is Eric Holcomb, a former aide of Indiana's former Governor Mitch Daniels.
Republicans dominated Indiana from the 1860s to 1980s. Democrats gained some power at the state level in the late 1980s-early 2000s, but Republicans have regained domination of Indiana state politics since. At the presidential level FDR won Indiana in both 1932 and 1936, however, FDR lost only 4 states in 1932 and 2 states in 1936. In 1964, when Barry Goldwater lost every state except for Arizona and 5 Deep South States, Lyndon Johnson won Indiana. In 2008, Barack Obama surprisingly won Indiana, however, Obama was from Chicago(which borders Indiana), Obama won most states by a much wider margin than he won Indiana and Obama only won Indiana by one percent. These are the only times Indiana has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since Grover Cleveland, which makes Indiana among the nation's most reliably red states.
In the election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln won all of Indiana's thirteen electoral votes with 51.09 of the popular vote.1 When the American Civil War broke out, Indiana had a strong, pro-South Democratic Party in the Indiana General Assembly that, for the most part, claimed to be pro-Union but anti-abolition. Governor Oliver P. Morton(elected 1861), had a close relationship with President Lincoln, who called him the "shrewdest person I know."2 At the 1862 Loyal War Governors Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Morton put his full support behind Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.3
A backlash followed the passage of the emancipation, leading to a defeat of Republicans in the 1862 mid-term elections. With a Democratic majority Morton feared with was sympathetic to the Confederacy, he began to take steps to circumvent the General Assembly and mobilize Indiana in the war effort.4 When Morton stepped beyond the scope of his constitutional powers by establishing a state arsenal, the Democratic legislature moved to remove the his command of the militia to them. Fearing that with control of the militia, the Democrats would attempt to secede from the Union, Madison helped Republican legislators flee to Kentucky and prevent a quorum.5 Unable to pass appropriations bills, the paralyzed government of Indiana teetered on bankruptcy until Morton once again stepped out of the scope of his powers and acquired millions of dollars in federal and private loans to keep the government running, support Indiana's role in the war effort, and circumvented the Democratic Assembly.6
For the remainder of the Civil War, Morton made efforts to keep Indiana secure by suppressing elements he saw as anti-union or sympathetic to the South. Much of the searches, arrests, and even disrupting the Democratic State Convention (in what would later be called The Battle of Pogue's Run) earned Morton much criticism, calling him a "dictator" and "underhanded mobster." As the war ended and the Republican Party received an overwhelming majority in the government, Morton's questionable conduct during the war were made moot and he continued to serve a second term in the US Senate until 1877.7
The party's darkest stain was after the First World War, following a rush of immigrants of eastern and southern European descent into the United States. Unlike the first Ku Klux Klan that rose in the South during the Reconstruction era to terrorize newly freed slaves and their white Republican allies, this new Klan that started in Georgia in 1915 was highly nativist organization that hid its racism in the cloak of family values and patriotism. Staunchly anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, antisemitic, and of course prejudiced against African Americans, the new Klan spread into Indiana in the 1920s under the Grand Dragon D.C. Stephenson.8 The second KKK was almost exclusively Republican in Midwestern states like Indiana as well as northern and western states like Maine and Colorado, although the KKK remained exclusively Democratic in the South. Under Stephenson's leadership, the Klan flourished in Indiana and took over both the Governor's Office and much Republican Party in the General Assembly.9 With over two-hundred and fifty thousand white males (approximately forty-percent of Indiana's population) paying their Klan dues in Indiana, Stephenson amassed a fortune estimated from two to five million dollars.10 More than half of the Indiana legislature elected in 1924 were KKK members, although the Klan legislature passed few anti-black, anti-Jewish or anti-Catholic laws.
In 1922, when the Klan-dominated General Assembly tried to pass a Klan Day in the Indiana State Fair, Republican Governor Warren T. McCray vetoed the bill and earned the ire of Stephenson and the Klan. The peak of their power and influence was in 1925, when the Klan had McCray arrested, imprisoned, and thrown out of office on a charge of mail fraud and replaced with Republican Governor Edward Jackson, who was a KKK member. Stephenson is infamous for his words "I am the law in Indiana."11
The Klan quickly fell apart under the revelation that Stephenson had abducted, raped, and murdered Madge Oberholtzer. More of a populist organization that believed in the Klan's image of defending the race and "Protestant Womanhood," the Klan's power and influence in both Indiana and its politics dissolved quickly. Governor Jackson refused to pardon Stephenson for Oberholtzer's death, so Stephenson retaliated from prison by revealing evidence that Jackson had received bribes from the Klan. Despite calls for his resignation for being associated with the Klan, Jackson's trial resulted in a hung jury.12
The 2010 party platform is the most recent release on the party's official stances on key issues, economic, political and social. It stands by the National Republican Party that "limited government is good government.",13 and believe that "leaner, cleaner government" is the appropriate response to what they see as gross overspending by the Obama Administration and find the Federal government's ballooning deficit troubling.14 Just as Governor Mitch Daniels and the Republican majority had curbed spending and turned Indiana's billion dollar deficit into a surplus, the Indiana GOP believes that low taxes, decreased government spending, and governmental regulations that are "restrained and reasonable" is what is needed to overcome the current recession.15
Indiana Republicans believe that "the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion", and staunchly opposes the exclusion of prayer from public forums.16 It also understands that the Second Amendment allowing citizens to bear arms, and supports gun ownership by all lawful citizens.17
The Indiana GOP concurs with the current Indiana law that "childbirth is preferred, encouraged, and supported over abortion" and objects to current healthcare laws that fail bar tax dollars from funding abortion procedures.18
The party also believes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and that any proposal to change this definition should be decided by the public, not by courts, and that "strong families are the foundation of virtue and that such families bring forth citizens capable of self-government as well as properly motivated public servants so essential for a successful republic."19
Indiana Republicans have also spoken up in support of Governor Daniels' 2005 laws that requires government-issue photo identification before voters can cast their ballots, believing it as a way to "improve the integrity of the election process."20
The Indiana Republican Party controls one U.S. Senate seat and seven of nine U.S. House seats. Republicans control all 7 of the 7 statewide constitutional offices. They hold a majority in the Indiana House of Representatives and a supermajority in the Indiana Senate.
- Governor: Mike Pence
- Lieutenant Governor: Sue Ellspermann
- Attorney General: Greg Zoeller
- Secretary of State: Connie Lawson
- Treasurer: Richard Mourdock
- Auditor: Tim Berry
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- 1860 Presidential General Election Results, U.S. Election Atlas.org
- LInda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair (eds.), The Governors of Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society Press, 2006; pg. 152.
- William Dudley Foulke, Life of Oliver P. Morton: Including His Important Speeches. In Two Volumes. Bowen-Merrill Company, 1899; vol. 1, pg. 346.
- Gugin and St. Clair (eds.), The Governors of Indiana, pg. 153.
- Foulke, Life of Oliver P. Morton, pp. 237, 325.
- Ralph D. Gray, Indiana History: A Book of Readings. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995; pg. 163.
- Indiana History, Part 5, Northern Indiana Center for History.
- Gray, Indiana History, pg. 306.
- David Bodenhamer, The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994; pg. 879.
- M. William Lutholtz, Grand Dragon: D. C. Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1991; pg. ???
- Indiana GOP
- Indiana GOP
- Indiana GOP
- Charles Zimmerman, "The Origin and Rise of the Republican Party in Indiana from 1854 to 1860," Indiana Magazine of History, Part 1: vol. 13, no. 3 (Sept. 1917), pp. 211–269; Part 2: vol. 13, no. 4 (Dec. 1917), pp. 349–412. Part 1 and Part 2 In JSTOR.
- Indiana Republican Party website
- Indiana GOP County Websites
- Indiana College Republicans
- Indiana Republican Liberty Caucus