September 29, 2023

State Sen. Jack Sandlin remembered as dedicated public servant

State Senator Jack Sandlin's body lay in state in Indiana Statehouse atrium during a service Friday, Sept. 29 2023. Sandlin died Sept. 20 at age 72. - Darian Benson / WFYI

State Senator Jack Sandlin's body lay in state in Indiana Statehouse atrium during a service Friday, Sept. 29 2023. Sandlin died Sept. 20 at age 72.

Darian Benson / WFYI

Hundreds gathered to remember the life of state Senator Jack Sandlin during a memorial service Friday at the Indiana Statehouse. Family, friends, and colleagues described the Indianapolis Republican as a devoted family man who loved serving others.

Sandlin's body lay in state in Statehouse atrium during the service. An American flag was drapped over the casket. 

State Sen. Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis), a longtime Sandlin family friend, spoke about Sandlin’s dedication to public service. Sandlin adored Indianapolis, he said, and was “absolutely dedicated to this city.”

“Jack always demonstrated a strong work ethic, tenacity, perseverance, sound judgment, and a commitment to service,” Freeman said. “Of all the awards Jack received, all of them were in cooperation with others.”

Sandlin died on Sept. 20 at age 72. He was first elected to the Senate in 2016 and was serving his second term for Senate District 36, which covers parts of southern Marion County and northern Johnson County.

Before his time in the General Assembly, Sandlin was a 30-year law enforcement officer with Indianapolis police. Sandlin then served six years on the Indianapolis City-County Council. 

“It's a huge loss for Indiana as a whole because of his public service and everything that he's done for Indiana,” said Benjamin Hunter, a former colleague of Sandlin on the City-County Council. “But the fact that he's so devoted to his family, his friends, and his faith. There is just going to be a large gap.”

A private Republican caucus will meet in the coming weeks to choose a replacement to serve out Sandlin’s term.

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