What Senator Kenley’s Retirement Means For His Senate District Residents


July 7, 2017 5:05 PM

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As the well-deserved plaudits pour in for State Senator Luke Kenley as a result of his retirement announcement, constituents in his district must face a stark reality – they are losing clout in the Indiana Statehouse.

Kenley’s District 20 encompasses Noblesville, Westfield, as well as parts of Carmel and Fishers.  Residents of this Senate district have enjoyed the clout attached to Senator Kenley’s position as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  It has been well known in the Statehouse that if you wanted something funded by state government, it was always very important to have Senator Kenley on your side.

This is what generally goes with seniority.  When you have a senior member of the legislature representing you, that person generally is able to get more done for the home district.  Fair or not, that is the way the system normally works.

I am certain that the Republican caucus will name a capable person to serve the remainder of Senator Kenley’s term.  Rumor has it there is a political figure in Noblesville that is the current favorite to win that caucus vote.

But the new senator will be a freshman and will start with no seniority.  That means voters in Indiana Senate District 20 will need to wait for their new senator, if re-elected several times, to gain more seniority and possibly a key committee chairmanship.

It took 25 years for Luke Kenley to gain the power he exercised in the Indiana Senate.  The new District 20 senator will require time to build up her/his seniority, assuming several re-elections.

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