NewsPublic Affairs / January 4, 2018

No. 2 Indiana House Democrat Won't Seek Re-Election

State Rep. Linda Lawson, right, D-Hammond, talks with state Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) following the opening day of the General Assembly session at the Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. - AP Photo/Darron Cummings

State Rep. Linda Lawson, right, D-Hammond, talks with state Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) following the opening day of the General Assembly session at the Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Indianapolis.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Another top-ranking Democrat in the Indiana Legislature has decided to not seek re-election after this year's session.

Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond says she'll finish out her term and then give up the seat she first won in 1998. Lawson has been the second-ranking House Democrat as minority floor leader since 2011 after six years as House Judiciary Committee chairwoman when Democrats controlled the chamber.

Lawson is a retired Hammond police officer. She tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that the climate in the Legislature has become "toxic" with Republicans holding large majorities in recent years and ignoring Democrats.

Lawson's decision comes after Rep. Scott Pelath of Michigan City stepped down as House minority leader in November. House Democrats picked Rep. Terry Goodin of Austin as their new leader.

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