Party changes were rare in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to party switching, the list is long, recently dominated by Southland, which sparked an open migration from the Democratic to the Republican party in the wake of the Great Society Voting Rights Act of 1965, as President Lyndon B Johnson aptly said predicted.

The list includes some titanic American figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, John Tower, John Connally, Richard Shelby, Jesse Helms, Phil Gramm, Condoleezza Rice and Rick Perry.

In Indiana, change of party was rare, especially for those who had already started a political career. Statesmen Eric Turner, Frank Newkirk and Barb Engle made the switch, with the first two moving from D to R two decades ago. Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor did the same and will not stand for re-election. In 1940, it was former Democratic executive Wendell Willkie who won the Republican presidential nomination. Prior to beginning his public career, Mike Pence was a Kennedy Democrat before joining the GOP.

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