Republican Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston retained his District 37 seat representing the Fishers area on Tuesday night, beating Democratic rival Aimee Rivera Cole.

Huston had 58% of the vote compared with Cole’s 42%. 

“(It was) honestly a tough race, and (I’m) glad to be successful and look forward to continuing to serve the people of Fishers and the state,” Huston said on Tuesday night. 

Suburban Republicans had faced a significant challenge this year from Democrats, who targeted the Indianapolis area to potentially flip state House seats from red to blue. 

In Carmel, Republican Rep. Jerry Torr won a 13th term in the House. He had 54% of the vote for District 39 with nearly 84% of precincts reporting compared with the 46% Democratic opponent Ashley Klein pulled in. 

Meanwhile among the Senate races, Fady Qaddoura had 50.5% of the vote in District 30 against Republican incumbent John Ruckelshaus’ 49.5% with nearly 66% of precincts reporting. The district includes parts of Broad Ripple and Castleton. 

Republican leader retains seat

Huston, who was tapped to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives in March, hopes to retain that position in the future. 

“In all honesty we have to work through the continuing pandemic and work to make sure that we keep Hoosiers healthy and continue to build a stronger economy and one that works for all the people of Indiana,” he said.

Rivera Cole, who ran against Huston in 2016, decried the attack ads from Huston’s campaign, which she called ridiculous.

“He could put my face up on TV every five minutes and destroy my reputation, all because he wanted to win so bad he needed to hold on to that power,” she said. 

She noted an ad that cited the tax-exempt organization Vote Smart in attacks against her. Vote Smart later condemned the action in a statement, noting that the information was false and that the organization prohibits the use of its name and programs in partisan political advertising. 

Huston did not have any response to those claims.

“I would give my hats off to anybody else who could ever endure what he put me through for the past month and a half,” Rivera Cole said. “And I hope, I hope that it was worth it for him. I really do hope it was worth what he did to my family.” 

Other suburban races

Several other Republican incumbents in suburban areas of Indianapolis also were re-elected.

In Senate District 36, which includes downtown Indianapolis and parts of Johnson County, Republican incumbent Jack Sandlin won with 76% of the vote at 76% of precincts reporting. Democratic opponent Ashley Eason took about 44%. 

In Senate District 32, encompassing large portions of southern Indianapolis, Republican incumbent Aaron Freeman won a second term with 65% of the vote compared to Democrat Belinda Drake’s 35% at nearly 71% of precincts reporting. 

In House District 24, which includes parts of Carmel and Zionsville, Republican Donna Schaibley preserved her seat with 59% of the vote compared with Democrat Naomi Bechtold’s 41%.

In House District 88, which is in the Geist area of Marion County and in Hancock County, incumbent Republican Chris Jeter was reelected with 61% of the vote at roughly 84% reporting. Democrat Pam Dechert had 40%. 

In Senate District 35, which stretches from western Indianapolis to Hendricks County, incumbent Republican Mike Young won with 55% of the vote compared with Democrat Pete Cowden’s 45% with 58% of precincts reporting. 

Here are partial results for other suburban races surrounding Marion County:

In House District 89, which covers the southeast and eastern parts of Marion County, the race was still too close to call. Incumbent Republican Cindy Kirchhofer had a tight lead with 51% of the vote at 71% of precincts reporting. Democrat Mitch Gore trailed with 49%.

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