The Indiana Citizen

The Crossroads of Civic Engagement

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JIM LUCAS

Republican Birth Date:

For five election cycles, voters in this sprawling southern Indiana district that includes the cities of Seymour, North Vernon and Crothersville have endorsed a conservative firebrand known for his push to strongly expand gun rights and legalize medical marijuana, as well as his penchant for social media posts that stir controversy.

During his tenure, Jim Lucas has introduced unsuccessful legislation that would significantly reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and expand gun rights to the point of allowing Hoosiers to carry firearms without a permit. But it’s been his social media posts that have gained the most attention, with critics decrying them as misogynistic and racist.

One post in May 2020 resulted in House Speaker Todd Huston punishing Lucas by removing him from two interim study committees and stripping him of his vice chairmanship for the standing committee on government reduction. Lucas’s offending Facebook post was criticized as overtly racist. Lucas told IndyStar he deactivated his Facebook page and accepted Huston’s decision. “I will say it until I am blue in the face,” Lucas told The Indianapolis Star. “I am not a racist.”

The voters didn’t seem to mind. Lucas won the general election with 67 percent of the vote – about the same as in 2018 – and the only contest was between the second- and third-place finishing Democratic and Libertarian candidates. – Greg Weaver

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_jim_lucas_1123

EDUCATION

  • Diploma, Seymour High School

COMMITTEES

Education, Elections and Apportionment, Public Policy, Select Committee on Government Reduction

KEY VOTES

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. No

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.  No

SB 1-2020 (Tobacco and vaping). Raised from 18 to 21 the legal age to buy tobacco or vaping products in Indiana. No

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. No

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

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Hoosiers for Quality Education, $1,000

Anheuser-Busch Co., $500

Reynolds American, $500

Indiana Beverage Alliance, $500

Associated Builders & Contractors Indiana/Kentucky, $500

RATINGS

Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 100
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 85
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 91
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 85
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 8
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 50
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 35
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Positions 75
National Rifle Association Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 100
Indiana AFL-CIO Positions 30

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Owner, The Awning Guy

DISTRICT

Population: 64,647

Race/Ethnic Origin: 94.9% white, 0.8% black, 0.6% Asian, 2.4% other, 1.3% two or more; 92.7% white non-Hispanic, 4.7% Hispanic.