Republican senator quitting Indiana Legislature

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A Republican state senator who unsuccessfully ran for Indianapolis mayor last year announced Tuesday he was resigning from the Indiana Legislature.

Sen. Jim Merritt said in a statement he would resign Nov. 4 from the seat to which he was first elected in 1990. The 61-year-old Merritt has been part of the Senate’s Republican leadership as the caucus chairman since 2004.

He has sponsored expanding Indiana’s needle-exchange programs for intravenous drug users and the state's lifeline law, which encourages underage drinkers to seek medical help for others who are dangerously intoxicated.

Merritt lost badly to Democratic Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett in last year’s election but his Senate term lasted until the November 2022 election. He did not specify a reason for his resignation, only saying he looked forward to serving “in new capacities.”

Republican precinct committee members in the district covering northeastern Marion County and southeastern Hamilton County will select a replacement to complete his term.

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