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Private political caucuses choose two new state lawmakers

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indiana General Assembly has two new members, one a Republican and one a Democrat.

Private political caucuses chose people Thursday night to fill the terms of two lawmakers no longer in the legislature.

J. Michael Davisson is the newest member of the Indiana House of Representatives. The Salem Republican was chosen to serve out the term of his late father Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem), who died last month after dealing with cancer. J. Michael runs Good Living Pharmacy, which he had already been serving as a partner in with his father.

In a statement, Indiana Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer said he couldn’t think of anyone better to continue Steve’s “legacy of servant leadership.”

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The Indiana Senate also gained a new member. A private Democratic caucus chose Chesterton’s Rodney Pol Jr. to replace retiring Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes). Pol is a city attorney for Gary, Indiana.

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl called Pol a “proven leader” who will champion Hoosier families in the legislature.

Both Davisson and Pol will serve out terms that end November of next year.

Fourteen lawmakers have initially joined the legislature via private political caucuses in the last four years.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story identified Rep. Steve Davisson as a Democrat. That was incorrect. He was a Republican.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.