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Pat Bauer, Longest-Serving Lawmaker In State History, Announces Retirement

Courtesy of Indiana House Democrats

The longest-serving lawmaker in the history of the Indiana General Assembly will retire after this year.

Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) announced Monday he won’t seek re-election in 2020.

Bauer has served 50 years in the legislature, including six as the House Speaker and another four as Minority Leader.

The South Bend lawmaker helped lead several reforms to Indiana’s tax system, including helping create the state earned income tax credit.

Bauer was also responsible for a controversial walk out in 2011, when House Democrats left the state of Indiana for five weeks during session in a bid to halt Right to Work legislation. That measure was ultimately passed the following year.

Outside of the legislature, Bauer was a teacher and administrator in the South Bend school system, and worked for the Ivy Tech campus there.

Contact 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.