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Indiana House District 44 takes in the farm belt of western Indiana, centering on Putnam County and including parts of four others. It has been represented for the past decade by father and son James and Beau Baird, owners of a family farm and one of the state’s largest quarter-horse breeders. Both have diversified well beyond their agricultural interests, and politics is only part of their story. A decorated Vietnam veteran who lost his left arm in combat, James Baird holds a Ph.D. in animal science and owns a home health care agency of which Beau is CFO. After four terms in the Indiana House, he ran for Congress in 2018 and upset a better-funded opponent for the Republican nomination.

His win in the general election was sweetened by his son’s election as the new representative for District 44. Beau Baird was his father’s campaign manager, is Putnam County Republican chairman, holds a Purdue MBA and is pursuing a second master’s in finance from Harvard. Baird, like his father, has kept a low profile among legislators in his first term, seldom speaking from the floor and avoiding anything controversial. His first bill to pass and be signed into law added eight plants to the state’s official list of noxious weeds to be destroyed. But while his father favored agricultural issues, Baird’s legislative focus appears initially to relate more to the other family business. In 2020, as Republicans identified controlling health care costs as a legislative priority, all four of the bills on which he was primary author related to health care, most involving consumer protection; none made it out of committee.

Greencastle, the Putnam County seat and home of DePauw University, has a two-party system that is more viable than most in the state’s rural stretches. Baird’s father unseated an incumbent in 2010, ending a two-decade run in which Democrats usually held the District 44 seat. Since then, the family has kept a lock on it. Baird was elected by the same 2-to-1 margin that his father enjoyed except in 2014, when he ran unopposed – as Baird did in 2020, winning a second term. – Kevin Morgan


(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204


  • Attending, Master of Finance, Harvard University, 2017-2020
  • Certified, MBA, International Business, TIAS School for Business and Society, 2017-2018
  • Certified, Business, Harvard Business School Executive Education, 2017-2018
  • EMBA, Business Administration and Management, Purdue University, 2016-2018
  • Attended, Tianjin University, 2017
  • Attended, Central European University, 2017
  • Bachelor's, Finance and Financial Management Services, Purdue University, 2000-2004
  • Attended, 2017, Fundação Getulio Vargas


Agriculture and Rural Development; Commerce; Small Business and Economic Development; Environmental Affairs


SB 198-2019 (Sentencing, bias crimes). Allowed longer sentences in crimes based on personal characteristics, stripped of references to sexual orientation, gender identity and race. Yes

SB 516-2019 (Regulation of hemp). Allowed cultivation and regulation of hemp products in Indiana, did not change marijuana laws. Yes

HB 1001-2019 (State budget). Set funding for state agencies and services, including 2.5% annual increases for education, though not directly for teacher salaries. Yes

HB 1004-2019 (School safety). Increased access to funding for security systems and resource officers, was stripped of provisions for mental health screening. Yes

HB 1015-2019 (Various gaming matters). Allowed sports betting statewide and table games in more casinos, relocated a casino in Gary and authorizing a new one in Terre Haute. Yes

SB 1-2020 (Tobacco and vaping). Raised from 18 to 21 the legal age to buy tobacco or vaping products in Indiana. Yes

SB 148-2020 (Zoning and housing matters). Was amended to overrule local tenant protection measures like those in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville. Vetoed by governor. Yes

HB 1004-2020 (Health matters). Controlled surprise billing for out-of-network and other costs. Yes

HB 1070-2020 (Distracted driving). Made it an infraction to handle a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Excused

HB 1414-2020 (Electric generation). Prohibited utilities from closing coal-fired generating plants without permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Yes


James R (Jim) Baird Campaign CMTE,  $2,000

Indiana Trial Lawyers Association,  $1,500

Indiana Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives,  $1,000

Indiana Association of Realtors,  $1,000

RJL Solution,  $1,000


Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 88
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 88
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 89
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 89
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 17
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 50
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions50
National Rifle Association Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 93
Advance America Positions 100
American Conservative Union State Legislature Positions 64


Population: 64,655

Race/Ethnic Origin: 95.4% white, 2.4% black, 0.5% Asian, 0.7% other, 1% two or more; 94.6% white non-Hispanic, 1.3% Hispanic.