Republicans kept their grip on two key state Senate seats that represent parts of Johnson County.
In the 36th District, Republican incumbent Brent Waltz defeated challenger Mary Ann Sullivan, a Democrat from Indianapolis. Waltz relied on his record of supporting education and funding for adult education while pledging to strengthen Indiana’s workforce moving forward.
Waltz took 58 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for Sullivan. He defeated Sullivan 11,171 total votes to her 8,047, as well as taking the most votes in Johnson County.
Johnson County’s other state Senate race was in the 37th District, where first-time candidate Republican Rod Bray defeated another political novice, Democrat Jim Cahill. Bray won the seat that his father, Sen. Richard Bray, R-Martinsville, had controlled for 20 years.
District 36 state senate
Mary Ann Sullivan (D) 33%
Brent Waltz (R) 67%
District 37 state senate
Rodric R. Bray (R) 73%
Jim S. Cahill (D) 27%
Bray took 36,779 votes, or 71 percent, from throughout the district. Cahill received 14,871 votes for 29 percent of the total. Bray also took the most votes in Johnson County.
The 36th and 37th districts are two of three state Senate districts now representing Johnson County. The county previously was split among five seats, but new lines were drawn in the redistricting effort after the 2010 Census.
The 41st District, representing the eastern and central parts of Johnson County, is not up for election until 2014.
Waltz, a former member of the Johnson County Council, has served in the state Senate since 2004. The Greenwood resident has been active in the appropriations committee, commerce and economic development and is the ranking member of the pensions and labor committee.
His platform also included plans to introduce legislation to create a financial literacy initiative for students in middle and high school. Students would learn how to handle credit cards, college debt and mortgages at an early age, before they run into financial difficulties, he said.
Sullivan was elected as a state representative in 2008 and won re-election in 2010. This was her first attempt for a state Senate seat.
She had campaigned on a platform of job creation, finding ways to encourage economic growth without loosening environmental and other regulations in order to entice new industry.