The Indiana Citizen

The Crossroads of Civic Engagement

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What a difference a decade or two can make, at least in a Marion County legislative district. Until 2000 and in some areas well beyond, most outside Center Township were held by Republicans; 20 years later, Democrats hold the majority outside the county’s southern third. The change is particularly striking in House District 92, which includes the town of Speedway and surrounding Wayne Township, a collection of midcentury inner suburbs on the Indianapolis Westside that continue to grow more racially diverse.

Republicans held the seat without much competition until the past decade. In 2011,  a six-term Republican incumbent was caught trying to set up an extramarital tryst and opted not to seek reelection; Democrat Karlee Macer won the seat in 2012 and held onto it with increasingly comfortable winning margins, running without opposition in 2018. She flirted with a run for governor in 2020, but decided against it while also opting not to seek another term in the House, where she labored in a badly outnumbered minority for her entire tenure.

Macer’s successor is Renee Pack, a community liaison in the Wayne Township school district and real estate agent who lost a bid for Wayne Township trustee in 2014, her first run for political office. Republicans didn’t field a candidate nor did any other Democrats contest the primary, providing Pack with a clear shot that is highly unusual in an open legislative district. Her Facebook campaign page includes posts supporting an increase in the minimum wage, repeal of right-to-work laws and more support for Indiana teachers as well as announcements of her endorsements, including those from Macer, several incumbent Democratic legislators and the Indiana AFL-CIO.