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David Vinzant sworn in as newest Indiana state senator, replacing Eddie Melton

David Vinzant poses for a headshot, with an American flag next to him. Vinzant is a White man with dark hair, wearing glasses and a suit and tie.
Courtesy of the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus
Sen. David Vinzant (D-Hobart) was chosen by a private precinct caucus to serve out the remainder of the term vacated by Eddie Melton, who left the Senate to become mayor of Gary.

Indiana’s newest state lawmaker was sworn in to the Senate this week, after David Vinzant became the sixth person chosen by private political caucuses to fill out a legislative term since the end of the 2023 session last April.

Democrat Eddie Melton left his Senate seat late last year to become mayor of Gary. A Democratic precinct caucus chose David Vinzant to replace him, serving out the remaining 11 months of Melton’s term.

Vinzant previously served as a city councilman in Hobart.

“After 16 years of city council, I realized that a lot of the problems I wanted to work on don’t happen at the city level,” Vinzant said. “It takes state action on a lot of these things and this is the place to get that to happen.”

READ MORE: Voter advocates say Hoosiers 'short-changed' by legislative resignations

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Nearly one out of every four current state lawmakers first joined the General Assembly via private political caucuses, rather than facing voters in a general election.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.