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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


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.