INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans won continued control of the Indiana governor’s office as voters cast the final ballots Tuesday, although Democrats had some chances to claw back to greater political relevance in the state.
Gov. Eric Holcomb won reelection and President Donald Trump appeared likely to also win the state. Democrats, meanwhile, concentrated their fall campaigns on capturing the state attorney general’s office and a central Indiana congressional seat that’s competitive after decades as a GOP bastion.
A record number of more than 1.7 million voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day as coronavirus health concerns prompted more use of mail-in ballots and early voting sites.
Holcomb won a second four-year term as governor, fending off challengers who criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Holcomb went into his campaign for a second term with a huge fundraising advantage and didn’t face any well-known challengers. Holcomb sidestepped any criticism of President Donald Trump even as Holcomb promoted face mask use and issued a statewide mask mandate in July.
Holcomb overcame Democrat Woody Myer, a former state health commissioner who called for tougher anti-virus actions as Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations climbed steeply since nearly all state restrictions were lifted in September.
Some conservatives called Holcomb’s actions excessive and were, instead, backing Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater.
Holcomb was lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Mike Pence and replaced Pence as the Republican governor candidate in 2016 after Pence became Trump’s vice presidential running mate.