IN Brief

Indiana GOP caucus picks North Vernon attorney Alex Zimmerman to fill empty Statehouse seat

By: - July 18, 2023 2:00 pm

The newest House member of J. Alex Zimmerman, who replaces retiring Rep. Randy Frye. (Monroe Gray for the Indiana Capital Chronicle)

North Vernon attorney J. Alex Zimmerman is the newest member of the Indiana General Assembly after a Republican caucus voted Monday to fill the vacant seat in House District 67.

The seat was formerly held by Rep. Randy Frye, R-Greensburg, who resigned earlier this month. He cited “multiple health issues” as his reason for stepping down.

Zimmerman, who runs his own law office in North Vernon, was elected on the first ballot at Monday night’s GOP caucus at the Ripley County Courthouse Annex in Versailles.

Rep. J. Alex Zimmerman (Courtesy photo)

Four Republicans competed for the Statehouse seat. Zimmerman won with 26 votes. He will fill the remainder of the unexpired term, which runs through November 2024.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity. It’s not one that I saw coming but I bring a lot of background, and experience at the state legislature already and I think that can be a benefit to our constituents in House District 67,” Zimmerman told the Indiana Citizen.

He has previous experience at the Statehouse — he previously spent six years working for the Indiana Senate Republicans. He opened his general practice law firm in 2020.

“I don’t think youth is a bad thing at the Statehouse, and as much as I hate to say it, we can always use another attorney up in Indianapolis,” he added. “I know I’ve got big shoes to fill with Rep. Frye but I hope to do it justice.”

Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Kyle Hupfer presided over the caucus, which was held in accordance with the state committee’s rules and procedures.

Each candidate was allowed a two-minute introduction and a three-minute speech. Forty-nine precinct members showed up to cast their ballots.

House District 67 is made up of portions of Decatur, Ripley, Jefferson, and Jennings counties.

Zimmerman resides in North Vernon with his wife and young children. He said his priorities at the Statehouse will include rural development, as well as bringing jobs and young people back to the district.

“I chose to come back to southeastern Indiana with my wife and my family and what I see are younger generations moving on to the bigger cities,” Zimmerman said. “They’re going off to get an education and they’re not coming back, and I want to figure out how we can bring those people back to southeastern Indiana, contributing to our economy, contributing to our local infrastructure.”

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

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