IN Brief

Zent joins list of lawmakers not seeking re-election

By: - January 2, 2024 10:05 am

Rep. Denny Zent, R-Angola, will not seek a new term this year. (Courtesy Indiana House Republicans)

Angola Republican Rep. Denny Zent will not seek re-election after more than a decade of serving in the Indiana General Assembly.

He is the seventh GOP member to announce their retirement — one in the Senate and six in the House. They will finish their current term, which ends in November.

Zent has served House District 51, which includes all of LaGrange County and a portion of Steuben County, since 2012.

“I want to thank the constituents of House District 51 for allowing me to represent them at the Statehouse,” he said. “It has been an honor to serve for over a decade in the General Assembly. During my time in the legislature, we’ve made great strides in helping our veterans, recognizing the crucial roles of caregivers and addressing various health care matters impacting Hoosiers. I look forward to working hard during my last session and finishing up my term.”

Zent serves on the House Public Health Committee as well as the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and carried several bills advocating for Hoosier veterans and their families. He also authored a law that limits opioid prescriptions for animals to seven days and allows veterinarians to access Indiana’s opioid prescription tracking database.

Zent, a retired dentist, also worked to expand Hoosier’s access to dental health care in rural and underserved areas, a news release said.

“Denny brings a wealth of experience to the Statehouse that we often rely on, whether it’s in the health care field or veteran affairs,” said House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers. “He’s a tremendous servant leader who puts the needs of his district first and always looks for commonsense solutions. We’re going to miss his presence at the Statehouse, but I wish him and his family the very best moving forward.”

Zent and his wife, Wendy, live in Angola and have two adult children and seven grandchildren.


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Niki Kelly
Niki Kelly

Niki has covered the Indiana Statehouse since 1999 – including five governors. She has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and Hoosier State Press Association for stories on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, criminal justice issues and more. She also is a regular on Indiana Week in Review, a weekly public television rundown of news. She shifts her career to helm a staff of three and ensure Hoosiers know what’s really happening on the state level.