For immediate release:
Nov. 8, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Democrats today selected State Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) as their leader for the 118th Indiana General Assembly.
Along with selecting Pelath as House Democratic Leader, caucus members chose State Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) to serve as House Democratic Floor Leader and State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) to continue as House Democratic Caucus Chair.
“I am humbled by my colleagues’ decision to serve as their leader, and I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that Democrats have a voice in the upcoming session of the General Assembly,” Pelath said today.
“We are here to participate in this process on behalf of Hoosiers who want to see our children get the education they deserve, all families get access to affordable health care, and all Hoosiers get jobs and keep them,” he added. “Our core issues of jobs and education will not change, and we stand ready to work with the majority party to see the realization of these goals.”
Pelath, who has represented the Ninth Indiana House District in the northern part of the state since coming to the General Assembly in 1998, works as a human resources director at the Swanson Center in Michigan City. Prior to coming to the Indiana House, Pelath served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer from 1992 to 1997. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in public affairs from Indiana University. Pelath and his wife Kim have two daughters: Israel and Isabella.
Lawson, who represents the First Indiana House District in northwest Indiana, has been House Democratic Leader since July. Prior to that, she was Democratic Floor Leader for nearly two years. Lawson, who has served in the House since 1998, is a retired police captain with the Hammond Police Department.
Summers has represented the 99th House District in Marion County since 1991, when she was elected to fill a vacancy left when her father, Joseph W. Summers, passed away. She also serves as the chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.
Indiana House Democrats will have six new members for the upcoming legislative session:
State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie), who represents District 34, is a retired public policy director and educator.
State Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis), who represents District 100, is an Indianapolis firefighter.
State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis), who represents District 87, is a former executive at Kiwanis International.
State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis), who represents District 92, leads the sales and marketing department at Harrison Retirement Community.
State Rep. Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis), who represents District 97, works in community corrections.
State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) who represents District 98, is the project manager for Engaging Solutions.