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2010 Indiana elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indiana elections, 2010

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →

Elections were held in Indiana on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Primary elections were held on May 4, 2010.

Turnout among registered voters was 41%.[1]


United States Senate

On February 15, 2010, incumbent Senator Evan Bayh announced that he would not seek reelection. This shocked the Democratic base,[who?] which had expected Bayh to seek a third term in the Senate and had thus not fielded any other candidates. On May 15, the executive committee of the Indiana Democratic Party announced that Representative Brad Ellsworth would be the party's nominee for Senator.[2] Dan Coats, the winner of the five-way Republican primary election, was Ellsworth's main competitor in the race, along with Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris, and two independent candidates in the general election.[3][4][5] During the campaign, Ellsworth attacked Coats' record as a lobbyist, while Coats branded Ellsworth as a puppet of President Obama and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. On election day, Coats won 54.4% of the vote to Ellsworth's 40%. Rebecca Sink-Burris received 5.4%.

United States House of Representatives

All of Indiana's nine seats in the United States House of Representatives were up for election in 2010. In the United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2008, Democrats had won five of Indiana's nine seats in the House, but public dissatisfaction with Democratic President Obama, combined with the birth of the Tea Party movement,[citation needed] led Republicans to win back two of these seats, giving them six seats to the Democrats' three.


Secretary of State

Indiana Secretary of State election, 2010

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →
Nominee Charles P. White Vop Osili Mike Wherry
Party Republican Democratic Libertarian
Popular vote 976,810 632,129 100,795
Percentage 57.13% 36.97% 5.90%

Secretary of State before election

Todd Rokita

Elected Secretary of State

Charles P. White

Incumbent Sec. Todd Rokita (R) was term-limited and could not run for reelection. Candidates to replace Rokita included Democrat Vop Osili,[6] Republican Charlie White,[7] and Libertarian Mike Wherry.[8] At the time, no Democrat had won a Secretary of State election in 20 years,[9] and only three Democrats had won the office since 1964.[10]

Olisi was a first-time candidate for office.[11][12] He was an architect from Indianapolis.[12][13] Olisi defeated Tom McKenna to win the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State at the state's Democratic Party Convention in Indianapolis, where Olisi's name was placed into nomination by Tom Henry.[13] Tom McKenna, Olisi's opponent for the Democratic nomination, was a private attorney and a deputy prosecutor who had previously served in positions under governors Evan Bayh, Frank O'Bannon, and Joe Kernan, including as the head of the former Indiana Department of Commerce, an administrative judge law for the Indiana Department of Labor, and Kernan's chief of staff.[13]

Olisi promised to connect new businesses with state economic development programs and with companies that might be interested in their services.[14] Olisi promised to support exploring efforts to modernize the voting process, including looking at online voter registration, longer voting hours, more early voting locations and no-excuse absentee voting.[13] He voiced opposition to Indiana's voter identification law, arguing that it disenfranchised between 40,000 and 200,000 Indiana voters.[14] Olisi's campaign placed an emphasis on job-creation.[15][16]

White promised to defend Indiana’s voter ID law to ensure, "fair and accurate elections.”[10] However, questions were raised about whether White had falsified his driver's license and residency, and therefore voted illegally, committing voter fraud[10][17]

One important facet of the Secretary of State's position was that, as chief elections officer, they would decide control of the Indiana House in the instance it were to be split 50-50.[13]

Until September, the race had been seen as safely Republican.[17] By October it was seen as a "tossup.[17]

In what was seen to be shaping up as a Republican wave election, Osili hoped he could attract ticket splitting voters.[18]


Vop Osili (D)
  • Fort Wayne Journal Gazette[21]


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Charles P.
WISH-TV [10][17] Early October 39% 29% 5% 26%


White won the election with 57% of the vote, but was soon charged with voter fraud, and was convicted of this offense and removed from office in December 2011.[citation needed]

General election results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles P. White 976,810 57.13%
Democratic Vop Osili 632,129 36.97%
Libertarian Mike Wherry 100,795 5.90%
Total votes 1,709,734

White was removed from office on February 4, 2012 after a jury convicted him on six felony counts including perjury, theft and voter fraud.[23] A ruling by Judge Louis Rosenberg had found that since White had violated election law, and twas therefore ineligible to run, the Recount Commission should remove White from office and declare Osili as the winner by default.[24] This decision was reversed. Ultimately, however, the courts ruled that, instead, Governor Mitch Daniels would be able to fill the vacancy created by White's removal from office.


Indiana State Treasurer election, 2010

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →
StateTreasurerRichardMourdock (1).jpg
PeteButtigieg (1).JPG
Nominee Richard Mourdock Pete Buttigieg
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,053,527 633,243
Percentage 62.5% 37.5%

Treasurer before election

Richard Mourdock

Elected Treasurer

Richard Mourdock

Incumbent Republican Treasurer Richard Mourdock ran for reelection.[25] His Democratic opponent was Pete Buttigieg.[26] At the time, no Democrat had won a state treasurer election in 36 years,[9] and none had held the office since 1979.[27]

Buttigieg's campaign

Buttigieg launched an exploratory campaign in March 2010.[28] That month, he resigned his job at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in order to campaign full-time.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35] Buttigieg formally launched his candidacy during South Bend's Dyngus Day celebrations on April 5.[36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44] Buttigieg was ultimately unchallenged for the Democratic nomination.[13][45][46][47] He was formally nominated at the Democratic state convention in Indianapolis on June 26.[13][14][15][46][48][49][50][51]

Buttigieg was considered a long-shot.[52][53] Buttigieg was a political newcomer, a first-time candidate, and had never held public office,[11][53] even proclaiming on his campaign website, "I'm a businessman who has never run for office before, but I have the education, experience and energy to lend a hand at this critical time in our state’s history."[54] Buttigieg also lacked name recognition.[53]

Buttigieg raised $287,000 in campaign contributions.[55] He refused to accept campaign contributions from banks or bank PACs.[47][56][57][58][59][60][61][62] He also placed limits on the amount of contributions accepted by his campaign from individuals who work at banks,[58] refusing to accept contributions from bank employees in excess of $2,300.[47][61]

If elected, Buttigieg would have been the first elected State Treasurer to hail from South Bend.[46]

Buttigieg criticized Mourdock for having invested $43 million of state pension funds and other state funds in Chrysler junk bonds.[53][63] This move by Mourdock had lost Indiana a large amount of money due to the restructuring of Chrysler during the company's bankruptcy.[53][64][65][66][67][68][69] He also criticized the legal action which Mourdock took in an attempt to stop Chrysler's bankruptcy plan (including the Chrysler-Fiat merger) from taking effect, arguing that this could have imperiled a company which Buttigieg described as being, "one of the most important employers in the state of Indiana," and the jobs which it provided the state.[28][30][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74] Placing great emphasis on the potential job loss that could have occurred due to Mourdock's lawsuit, Buttigieg even had his nomination seconded at the state convention by Richie Boruff, the president of Kokomo's United Automobile Workers Local 685.[51] Buttigieg also argued that, had the lawsuit been successful, it would also have led to further losses in the value of the junk bonds.[75] Buttigieg further criticized Mourdock for choosing costly out-of-state firms to manage the lawsuit, which charged the state $2 million for their services, arguing that he could have saved money and better benefited the state by using more inexpensive in-state law firms.[76][75][77][78][79] Ultimately, the issue of the Chrysler junk bonds and the lawsuit against Chrysler emerged as the central issue of the campaign between Buttigieg and Mourdock.[68][80]

Buttigieg touted himself as having a fiscally conservative record.[28]

Buttigieg additional stated that he believed that the State of Indiana needed to be more selective about what banks it did business with, using the "power of the purse" to pressure and reward banks.[81][82][83][84] Buttigieg wanted the state to start doing more business with local banks.[85] Buttigieg proposed taking an "Indiana first" policy when selecting banks in which to deposit state funds.[60] Buttigieg pledged that he would use the State Treasurer's office to pressure banks to be more "consumer friendly".[45][86][87] Buttigieg argued that the state should only invest tax dollars in financial institutions that had demonstrated that they treat customers well,[56][88][89] such as those that to small businesses and kept residents from losing homes to foreclosure.[53][90] Buttigieg wanted banks to create more "job friendly" loan programs.[91] Buttigieg also said that he would pressure banks to act more responsibly.[92][93] He proposed setting guidelines for what banks Indiana would do business with which would include requiring that banks Indiana deposited money with had an Indiana headquarters, or have a large proportion of their employees (at least 50%) being in-state employees.[81][94][95][96] His proposed guidelines would also require that banks comply with obligations with the Community Reinvestment Act, comply with the future requirements of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and have a track record of community-oriented financial innovation (such as lending to micro enterprises).[81][95] He would also require banks have, "a record of resolving distressed home mortgages through re-negotiation" and a "commitment to small business lending, including lending to minority-owned and women-owned enterprises".[95]

Buttigieg also spoke of a desire to invest in Indiana corporate bonds.[89]

Buttigieg had a proposal he dubbed as the "Hoosier Capital Connector" under which he would return money deposited out-of-state to the state, depositing it at in-state financial institutions.[97][98][99][100] Under the plan, money (including $100,000 million from the state's $3 billion general fund) would be deposited in local banks that agreed to lend cash at lower interest rates to local small businesses which pledge to generate or preserve jobs.[98][101] The treasurer's office would connect such businesses with lower interest loans, and the program would require that the businesses and the participating financial regularly file reports with the treasurer's office.[97][102] Buttigieg pointed to other states, such as Missouri, where similar policies had been implemented.[98][99]

Buttigieg criticized the lack of transparency in the state treasurer's office.[103][104] Buttigieg proposed measures to increase the transparency of the state's financial transactions.[105] This would include increasing the frequency of reporting on the state's investments and its holdings, which were at the time annually reported, to at least quarterly.[105] Buttigieg's plans also entailed being more transparent and standardized in the decision process of where the treasurer deposited state money,[95] including publishing online the criteria expected of financial institutions where money would be deposited.[105] It would also entail posting online of investment policy statements for each fund managed by the state treasurer's office, as well as information and links to outside firms managing state funds.[105] Buttigieg's plans would also entail increasing the transparency of investment policy statements and state treasury records, making them accessible online.[106] It would also involve employing an online tracking system for all public information requests.[105] It would also involve an increase of public input in investment decisions, holding at least twice-annually a series of town halls.[105] His plans would also place a prohibition on former employees of the treasurer's staff lobbying or doing business with the office for two years after they leave.[105]

Buttigieg argued that, by keeping better track of deposits and lending, the state could free credit up and stimulate job growth.[107]

Buttigieg pledged that, as treasurer, he would seek to reinvest state funds in assets that were issued by companies based in Indiana wherever they would generate good returns on investment.[56][86][108]

Buttigieg argued that the role of treasurer should be depoliticized.[109][110][111]

Buttgieg called for the position of treasurer to have more stringent ethic codes. Buttigieg promised, if elected, to partner with the Indiana State Legislature to pass ethics standards to that would ensure that no investments would not be influenced by corporate campaign contributions.[86][109] Buttigieg promised to work with the Indiana State Legislature to seek legislation prohibiting political contributions from banks to anyone running for state treasurer,[58][59][111]

Buttigieg argued that Indiana had not been wisely investing taxpayer money.[112] For instance, he criticized the investment of hundreds of millions in tollway revenue into junk bonds.[15][113] Buttigieg argued that the state treasurer's office could be more efficiently and profitably managed.[114] Buttgigieg argued that wiser management of the states finances would decrease the necessity for cuts, such as those that had been recently made to education.[106]

Buttigieg pledged to commission a review of the state's investments in order decrease the state's Indiana's vulnerability to risky debt.[86][109] Buttigieg also promised that, within his first 60 days in office, he would assemble a committee that would inform his principles and develop reporting procedures.[81] Such a committee would be made up of financial businesses, labor representatives, academic leaders, and consumer advocacy leaders.[81]

Buttigieg declared that, “In these tough economic times, state government needs to find new and creative ways to make our tax dollars work harder and smarter for us."[81]

Buttigieg's campaign placed an emphasis on job-creation and economic development.[13][15][16] He also considered a top priority to be consumer protection.[92]

Buttigieg argued that he could use the office of Treasurer to assist in generating economic growth in the state by making investments in state assets and depositing state money in the banks most likely to recirculate dollars to local communities.[31]

Buttigieg urged Mourdock to hold a debate with him.[115][116][117] This was to no avail, ultimately.

In what was seen to be shaping up as a Republican wave election, Buttigieg hoped he could attract ticket splitting voters.[18]

Mourdock's campaign

Moudock was formally renominated by the Republican Party at its state convention on June 19.[47]

Mourdock defended his investment in Chrysler junk bonds, claiming that junk bonds had actually been the best-performing assets in the state's investment portfolio.[118]

Mourdock defended the lawsuit he lodged against Chrysler, which cost the state $2 million dollars, as having fulfilled his "fiduciary duties" and having been his acting on behalf of the taxpayers of Indiana.[63][119] He acknowledged that some admired, and others reviled, the stand he took against Chrysler.[63] However, he believed that the lawsuit earned him name recognition”[63] (it had earned him hundreds of speaking engagements on the subject[120]) and would ultimately benefit his campaign, stating, “I think that is very much going to play in our favor. I think most Hoosiers were opposed to seeing our pensioners getting ripped off, which is exactly what happened.”[63] Mourdock collaborated with governor Mitch Daniels on an op-ed in early June The Wall Street Journal defending the lawsuit.[67]

Mourdock received criticism during the campaign from Buttigieg for holding events with controversial figures such as television personality Glenn Beck (an appearance Buttigieg particularly criticized in light of "deceptive" cash-for-gold advertisements Beck had been featured in)[121][122] and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.[123]

Mourdock positioned himself in opposition to bailouts of banks.[124]

Mourdock argued that he had been wisely investing taxpayer money as treasurer.[124]

Mourdock advertised his role as Chairman of the Indiana Wireless Enhanced 911 Advisory Board, proclaiming that such work demonstrated his commitment to public safety.[124] Moudrock also advertised his role Chairman of the Indiana Education Savings Authority, arguing that it demonstrated his commitment to promoting education and college savings.[124] He pointed to the growth of the state's college savings plan as a success of his.[118]

Mourdock criticized Buttigieg's plan to impose requirements on banks seeking state deposits, accusing Buttigieg of wanting to implement "social policy".[125]

Mourdock responded to criticism by Buttigieg of his investing by publicizing that the state treasurer's had earned $480 million in the 2010 fiscal year.[126]

Mourdock often described his role as being the states "investor-in-chief".[127]

Unlike his opponent, Mourdock accepted money from bank PACs.[128]

Mourdock's candidacy was seen as benefiting from running in a very republican-favorable election cycle and from being in a Republican-leaning state, making the strong favorite to win.[129]


Pete Buttigieg (D)
  • AFL–CIO[19]
  • Indiana State Teachers Association[20]
  • United Automobile Workers[130]
    • United Automobile Workers Citizenship and Legislative Committee[131]
    • United Automobile Workers Region 3 Victory Fund.[131]


Ahead of the election, the race was projected as leaning in Mourdock's favor.[121][135]

Mourdock won a second term as treasurer with 62% of the vote.

Mourdock was the state's top vote-getter, receiving a greater number of votes than any other Indiana candidate in the 2010 elections.[136][137]

Potential evidence of the failure of Buttigieg to gain traction on his argument about the risk of job loss that could have occurred due to Mourdock's Chrysler lawsuit was that Howard County, home to Kokomo (and 6,000 Chrysler jobs) was carried by Mourdock by a margin of 15,631 to 9,677.[136][137]

General election results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Richard Mourdock (incumbent) 1,053,527 62.46%
Democratic Pete Buttigieg 633,243 37.54%
Total votes 1,686,770


Indiana State Auditor election, 2010

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →
Nominee Tim Berry Sam Locke
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 986,301 625,630
Percentage 58.36% 37.02%

Auditor before election

Tim Berry

Elected Auditor

Tim Berry

Incumbent Republican Auditor Tim Berry ran for reelection.[138] He faced Democrat Sam Locke [139] and Libertarian Eric Knipe in the general election.[140] At the time, no Democrat had won a State Auditor election in 28 years.[9]

Locke was a first-time candidate for office.[11][12] He was a former United States Air Force officer[141] and a current non-profit consultant from Floyds Knobs.[12][13] He was unchallenged for the Democratic nomination.[13] He pledged that, if elected, he would direct more state contracts to Indiana-based businesses.[142] Locke promised to find ways to save the state money.[13][14][16] Locke pledged to closely analyze state finances and attack wasteful spending.[15] He also promised to audit automatic payments made by the state to ensure that duplicate payments were not being made.[15] He also expressed an interest in making state transactions available and searchable in an online system.[15] Locke's campaign placed an emphasis on job-creation.[15][16]

Berry won reelection with 58% of the vote to Locke's 37%.


Sam Locke (D)
Tim Berry (R)
  • Fort Wayne Journal Gazette[21]


General election results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tim Berry 986,301 58.36%
Democratic Sam Locke 625,630 37.02%
Libertarian Eric Knipe 78,004 4.62%
Total votes 1,689,935

State Senate

25 seats in the Indiana Senate were up for election in 2010, a majority of which were won by the Republicans.

State House of Representatives

All 100 seats in the Indiana House of Representatives were up for election in 2010. A large majority of these were seized by the Republicans, giving them legislative dominance, but not enough to meet quorum without Democratic attendance.[citation needed]

Judicial positions

Multiple judicial positions were up for election in 2010.[143]

Ballot measures

One statewide ballot measure was certified:

  1. Add a property tax cap amendment to the Indiana Constitution[144]

The measure passed at the polls, with 28% of voters against the proposition.


Many elections for county offices were also held on November 2, 2010.


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  3. ^ "Dan Coats for Indiana". Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
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