IN Brief

Cyndi Carrasco named state senator-elect; will replace late Sen. Jack Sandlin

By: - October 19, 2023 8:59 am

Senator-elect Cyndi Carrasco talks to reporters after her caucus victory on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz)

Former Indiana Inspector General Cyndi Carrasco is set to be Indiana’s next state senator after Republican precinct committee members overwhelmingly voted her into the role Wednesday evening. She beat out former state Rep. John Jacob — a hard-right minister — with a vote of 53-5.

“I will be an unwavering conservative voice for Marion and Johnson counties in the state Senate,” Carrasco told precinct committee members ahead of the vote, in a pitch that focused heavily on public safety.

“We must always fully support law enforcement and their mission to keep our families and our communities safe, and hold criminals accountable,” she said. “I will always have their backs in the General Assembly.”

Senator-elect Cyndi Carrasco thanks a supporter after her caucus victory on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz)

She will replace Sen. Jack Sandlin, a veteran and police officer, who died unexpectedly in September.

“I will never be able to thank Jack enough for his support and his service, but I will try to the very best of my ability to carry on his legacy in the Indiana State Senate,” Carrasco said. “… But I will legislate on my own two feet, and be your representative in the Indiana Statehouse and in the community.”

Carrasco most recently made an unsuccessful bid for Marion County prosecutor, but lost to Democrat incumbent Ryan Mears.

She told reporters after the vote that she was able to tap into the connections she formed during that campaign.

“I worked really, really hard. And I didn’t just work for two weeks. This was a year of my life,” Carrasco said. “… The conversations that I had with these folks were just reconnecting, catching up and saying ‘Cyndi, go get ’em.'”

Carrasco’s victory ended an attempted comeback by Jacob, who lost his Indiana House seat in elections last fall. Jacob was among the most prominent anti-abortion advocates during a 2022 special legislative session, as he pushed unsuccessfully for a ban with no exceptions.

His pitch Wednesday leaned heavily on his faith and legislative experience. He noted that Republican leadership used ideas he proposed in their own bills, including permit-less carry, a ban on transgender girls playing girls sports, a ban on gender transitions for minors and defunding an Indiana University gender research institute.

Carrasco is expected to be sworn in at the beginning of November, along with Senator-elect Greg Goode.

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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie covers state government for the Indiana Capital Chronicle with emphases on elections, infrastructure and transportation. She previously covered city-county government for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has also reported on local, national and international news for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and more. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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