Indiana Democratic Party
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker Senate leader Vi Simpson Assembly leader B. Patrick Bauer Founded 1816 Headquarters 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1165
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Ideology American Liberalism
National affiliation Democratic Party Official colors Blue (unofficial) Website Indiana Democratic Party Politics of the United States
The Democratic Party of Indiana is a political party and affiliate of the United States Democratic Party in Indiana. The Indiana Democratic Party also hold three of Indiana's nine Congressional seats. The party Chairman is Dan Parker and Cordelia Lewis-Burks is Vice Chairwoman.
History & important figures
The Indiana Democratic Party has its roots in the work of Jonathan Jennings, Democratic-Republican and first Governor of the newly formed state of Indiana in 1816. Jennings pushed hard for statehood, and is attributed as an intellectual father of the Indiana Democratic Party. He pushed for a statewide school system and a stable state bank.
Civil War era
Indiana political parties in the 19th century were extremely divided culturally. Indiana, more than any other Midwestern state, received an influx of southern farmers who didn't mix well with northern manufacturers and businessmen. Patronage was given out regularly as Democratic and Whig (and eventually Republican) politicians fought for control of state government. Whigs predominantly controlled the state legislature, while Democrats predominantly controlled the governorship. Turbulent elections and heated Democratic passion ended up persuading 50 Whig legislators to switch parties by 1852. Even though William Henry Harrison, a Whig and one of the first governors of the Indiana territory, ran for President in 1840, Democrats like Joseph Chapman were very critical of him and his supporters.
The first Indiana Democratic Party meeting was held in 1848, and as the time was called the "Indiana State Central Committee of the Democratic Party". Only seven men were in attendance. Thomas Hendricks, nephew of the third Governor of Indiana, became the first post-war Democrat to be elected Governor in a Northern state. His popular bipartisan leadership would eventually lead him to be President Grover Cleveland's first Vice President in 1884.
As the city of Indianapolis grew into a massive urban area, Democrats began to continuously represent the city in the state legislature. Thomas Taggart, the mayor of Indianapolis from 1895-1901, became the first Hoosier to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 1913, Thomas Marshall, Governor of Indiana, became yet another Democratic Hoosier to be a Vice President (under Woodrow Wilson). Years later, World War II veteran Frank McKinney became a delegate in the 1948 Democratic Convention, and later became the second Hoosier to be Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1951.
In the 1980s, Evan Bayh became a popular figure within the Indiana Democratic Party as well as the state of Indiana. A young Governor elected in 1988, Bayh was later elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998. Bayh's two terms as Governor, along with his lieutenant Governor Frank O'Bannon's own gubernatorial years, resulted in a budget surplus, tax cuts and increased funding for education and health insurance for the poor. Long considered a moderate, Bayh was rumored to be a top pick for Barack Obama's Vice Presidential nominee in 2008, but the spot ended up going to Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Bayh did not run for reelection in 2010.
Current Indiana Democrats in Congress:
- Indiana Democratic Party Official Party website
- Senate Democratic Caucus
- Indiana House Democrats
- Democratic Women's Caucus
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