(VALPARAISO, Ind,) – Republicans will extend their House supermajority to eight years, with the overdue tally of votes in Porter County.
Porter County didn’t start counting votes till the day after the election, and took three days to finish. The final totals confirm Democrat Lisa Beck’s victory over Crown Point Representative Julie Olthoff, who was able to make up only about half a 500-vote deficit in results from Lake County. Beck is the third Democrat to beat a Republican House incumbent this year — but Democrats needed a gain of four to break the two-thirds majority which gives Republicans enough seats to conduct House business even if Democrats were to walk out. The prolonged blackout of Porter County results left open the possibility of gaining the fourth seat by unseating Valparaiso Representative Ed Soliday, but the long-delayed results give Soliday an eight-point win and Republicans a 67th seat.
On Thursday night, Republicans snuffed out another Democrat upset hope with the reelection of Indianapolis Representative Cindy Kirchhofer. Kirchhofer held a comfortable lead on election night, but thousands of absentee ballots whittled her margin to a little more than 200 votes over former Representative John F. Barnes.
Republicans also preserved their Senate supermajority, holding a 40-10 advantage in the upper chamber despite Democrat J-D Ford’s victory over Carmel Senator Mike Delph.
County election boards still must rule on which provisional ballots should be counted before results are officially certified. The deadline to do so is November 19.
(Photo: Rudy Balasko/Thinkstock)