Proposed State Senate district would split county, not city

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Proposed changes to State Senate districts for the next decade would keep Putnam County divided between District 24 and District 37.

However, the City of Greencastle would again be entirely in District 24 if the plan passes.

The Indiana Senate Republicans unveiled their redistricting plan for the 50-member upper house of the Indiana General Assembly on Tuesday.

Sen. John Crane

In Putnam County, the main question was if the county would remain divided between Sen. John Crane’s (R-Avon) District 24 and Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray’s (R-Martinsville) District 37.

While the answer is yes, the division will be different, with Crane proposed to represent nine complete townships — Russell, Franklin, Jackson, Clinton, Monroe, Floyd, Madison, Greencastle and Marion — and Bray to represent the other four — Washington, Warren, Jefferson and Cloverdale.

This is a change over the previous 10 years, when Bray represented the part of the City of Greencastle south of Washington Street as well as Greencastle Township south and east of the city.

Sen. Rodric Bray

The division of Putnam County would be the exact same as it was before 2011.

While the proposal is only a draft, the plan is expected to get little pushback from the entirety of the Senate and House, as the GOP has a supermajority in both houses.

The Senate plan joins proposals for the Indiana House and U.S. Congress that state Republicans unveiled last week. Under those plans, State Rep. Beau Baird’s (R-Republican) District 44 would encompass all of Putnam County and most of Montgomery. Meanwhile, Congressman Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) would see only minor changes to the Fourth Districts.

House Bill 1581, the redistricting bill, passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Thursday morning, 67-31. (See page 5A)

The Senate will consider the bill next week.

Besides the nine Putnam County Townships, District 24 is proposed to include six Hendricks County Townships, which encompass Danville and most of Avon and Brownsburg.

With more sparsely populated areas aside from Mooresville and Martinsville, the proposed District 37 is more far flung. It also includes all of Morgan County, approximately the northern half of Owen County and the western edge of Johnson County.

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