IN Brief

State Rep. Jerry Torr to retire after nearly 3 decades in office

By: - October 3, 2023 10:54 am

Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, listens to the State of the State Address in January 2023. (Monroe Bush for the Indiana Capital Chronicle)

State Rep. Jerry Torr, a Republican representing Carmel, announced Tuesday that he won’t seek reelection to the seat he’s held since 1996.

Torr plans to retire from the Indiana General Assembly in November 2024, at the end of his current two-year term.

“It’s been an honor of a lifetime to serve my friends and neighbors in House District 39,” Torr said in a news release. The district covers parts of Carmel and Westfield.

“During my time as a state representative, we’ve made Indiana one of the most attractive places in the country to start and grow a business, and our local communities continue to reap the rewards through record growth in population, development and opportunity,” Torr continued. “And our future remains bright.”

In 2005, Torr spearheaded legislation moving Indiana to daylight saving time, and allowing health insurers to insure Hoosiers with minor pre-existing conditions. In 2012, he authored the controversial “right to work” law that banned compulsory union membership and union dues payments.

Torr has also unsuccessfully pushed to create a bipartisan district-drawing commission to “eliminate the unfair practice of gerrymandering in Indiana,” according to his House Republican biography.

But Torr, a national account manager at Near North Title Group in Carmel, said he is looking forward to concentrating fully on his career working in title insurance.

Reaction

“Jerry’s business and policy acumen, institutional knowledge and passion for service are a tremendous asset to our team at the Statehouse,” said House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, who’s held the speakership since 2020. “He continues to be a strong advocate for his constituents and local communities, and Indiana is better for it. His heart for putting Hoosiers first will be missed, but I look forward to serving with him for his last session.”

Huston’s predecessor, former House Speaker Brian Bosma, called Torr a “longtime friend and distinguished legislator.”

House Republicans, Bosma said, repeatedly called on Torr “to shepherd many of the most difficult and important issues through the legislative process: moving our state into the 21st century through the adoption of daylight saving time, making Indiana the 23rd Right-to-Work state, and much more.”

“He was a voice of reason and bipartisanship and his accomplishments helped make Indiana the success she is today,” Bosma continued. “He will no doubt be missed by policymakers on both sides of the aisle.”

Torr is a sixth-generation Hoosier who grew up on a family farm in Putnam County.

During the ’70s, he studied a variety of liberal arts subjects at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, and at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, according to his biography.

He moved to Carmel in 1987 and has lived there since.

Three other Republicans have recently made early, mid-term resignations, and another — Sen. Jack Sandlin of Indianapolis — unexpectedly died last month.

One name being floated as a possible replacement for Torr is Danny Lopez, who is currently Vice President for External Affairs and Corporate Communications at Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Previously he served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Eric Holcomb.

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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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