INDIANAPOLIS - Most of the Indiana political world's attention is centered on the presidential contest and statewide races for governor and senate this year, but voters will also decide control of the general assembly, and several contentious races are developing.
One question is whether Republicans will achieve walk-out-proof majorities in both houses of Indiana's legislature, which depends on several races, such as the one in Senate District 30 on the north side that pits Democratic challenger Tim DeLaney against Republican incumbent Scott Schneider.
DeLaney said Schneider is a culture warrior who is ignoring what district residents want and is pushing right-wing causes, not jobs and the economy. He's blasting Schneider for supporting a bill that passed in his first session to allow employees to bring guns to work if they're locked in their cars.
"Scott Schneider embraced that bill, immediately jumping into divisive and distracting culture war issues, rather than working on what I consider to be the main priorities of the state," DeLaney said. "I don't believe that the people of District 30 were sitting around waiting for a piece of legislation to allow an employee to override their employer's wish about guns in the workplace."
But Schneider said that he is primarily a fiscal conservative whose first efforts were aimed at controlling property taxes.
"My first priority in the Senate and my very first votes on the floor of the Senate was to cut and cap property taxes and add that as a permanent protection in the constitution," Schneider said. "And that's been my priority since day one. And my opponent's come out and said that he would undo that."
Schneider said his main priorities, besides capping property taxes, have been cutting or eliminating the inheritance tax and the business income tax and maintaining a balanced state budget.
Republicans must win seven more seats to achieve a walk-out-proof majority in the house, but they could lose three seats and still maintain their supermajority in the Senate.