Lawmakers approve Statehouse bust honoring former Indiana governor | Condition

Former Gov. Joe Kernan, a South Bend Democrat who ran the state of Hoosier from 2003 to 2005 after the death of Gov. Frank O’Bannon, may soon be commemorated with a bust in the Indiana Statehouse.

On Monday, the Indiana Senate unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, honoring Kernan’s life and memory and calling on the Indiana Department of Administration to place a bronze bust of the former governor in the Statehouse, commissioned by the IAC Foundation.

Kernan died on July 29, 2020 at the age of 74. In addition to his public service as governor, Kernan served as lieutenant governor of Indiana from 1997 to 2003, three-time mayor of South Bend, and a US Navy veteran who spent 11 months as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“Wow man. What a scene. You can’t imagine what we’re seeing out here on any given day,” said Hobart Patrol Officer Tommie Tatum.



In the 2004 gubernatorial election, he was defeated by Republican Mitch Daniels. Kernan then returned to South Bend and became president of the city’s minor league baseball team. He also worked with then-Chief Justice Randall Shepard to create a set of recommendations for Indiana local government reform.

The Senate resolution, led by State Senator David Niezgodski, D-South Bend, and Ryan Mishler, R-Mishawaka, describes Kernan as “a man of noble dignity” and decrees that the privately funded bust’s installation in the Statehouse is a fitting tribute to him .

The House of Representatives is also expected to approve the resolution in the coming days.

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