HANCOCK COUNTY — The three Republican incumbents representing Hancock County in the Statehouse held onto their seats following Tuesday’s general election, according to records from the Indiana Secretary of State.
Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, and State Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, will return to their seats in the Indiana Statehouse. Additionally, current House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who represents western Hancock County and portions of Marion and Hamilton counties, retains his seat.
Cherry has represented District 53, which covers nearly all of Hancock County, as well as portions of Shelby, Rush and Madison counties, since 1998. Tuesday, he defeated Democrat Nancy Tibbett, a New Palestine resident, and Libertarian Rick Brown by earning 19,956 votes. Tibbett garnered 6,779 votes, followed by Brown’s 1,979. In Hancock County, Cherry took 71.7 percent of the vote.
His nearly two decades of experience representing Hancock County at the state capitol and his leadership style likely helped him garner another win, he said.
Hoosiers like the direction the state is going — Indiana has balanced budgets that funnel record funding into education — and is the best state in the Midwest, he said.
Going forward, maintaining a balanced budget while increasing funding for education and infrastructure will be a priority for Cherry, who currently serves as the vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, the group of legislators that drafts Indiana’s budget every two years.
“Our focus will be on infrastructure and growing our economy, and I think Hancock County will benefit on both of those,” Cherry said.
He thanked residents for their support and said he’s eager to return to the Statehouse in January.
Bosma, who could not be reached for comment, defeated Democrat challenger Dana Black. Bosma received 24,007 votes to Black’s 12,799 votes; this includes 7,924 votes for Bosma and 3,771 votes for Black cast by Hancock County voters.
Bosma, an attorney, has served as a state representative since 1986. He’s currently serving his second term as House Speaker.
During his campaign against Black, Bosma touted his experience and decades-long service to the state, which his opponent criticized, calling him a career politician who’s lost touch with voters.
Crider’s District 28 seat represents Hancock County and portions of Marion and Shelby counties. He secured 38,126 votes, including 26,659 votes from Hancock County voters.
He was challenged this election by Democrat Ken Kern of Indianapolis, a retired former deputy attorney general and a Korean War veteran, and write-in candidate Jerry Coverstone of Cumberland, a computer repair technician.
Kern received 20,501 votes overall, including 8,694 from Hancock County. Coverstone received 18 votes overall, none of which were from Hancock County, records show.
Crider’s successes over his first term include championing legislation that extended the statute of limitations for rape cases in Indiana, creating a voluntary veterans preference hiring policy and penning legislation that funneled $1.2 million into Indiana’s Adult Protective Services Agency to hire more case workers.
Looking ahead to his next term, Crider said he hopes to introduce legislation to provide more funding for local and state infrastructure, better the mental health programs offered to people in crisis and continue working to improve Indiana’s Adult Protective Services Agency.
But primarily, Crider said he is excited to have a chance to continue working with Hancock County’s residents. He’s enjoyed interacting with the friends and neighbors he now counts as his constituents, and he’s eager to keep growing as a senator.
Though he’s had limited contact with his challengers throughout the race, Crider said he was pleased the race remained a positive one focused on the issues.
“I have a lot of respect for anyone who puts their name on the ballot,” he said.
Bob Cherry (R);13632
Nancy Tibbett (D);4091
Rick Brown (L);1275
Brian Bosma (R);7924
Dana Black (D);3771
Ken Kern (D);8694
Mike Crider (R);26659
Jerry Coverstone (I);0
*Hancock County results only