By Marilyn Odendahl

The Indiana Citizen

November 10, 2023

Cyndi Carrasco was sworn in Nov. 1 to finish the term of the late Indiana state Sen. Jack Sandln.

Carrasco (pictured above) won the Republican Party caucus vote last month to fill Sandlin’s seat in Senate District 36, which covers portions of southern Marion and northern Johnson counties.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Carrasco is a graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis and currently serves as vice president and general counsel for the University of Indianapolis.

She was elected to the Indiana Senate on Oct. 17 by capturing 53 of 58 votes cast in the first round of balloting by precinct committee members at the GOP caucus for the senate district. She defeated former State Rep. John Jacob, an strident anti-activist who served one term in the Indiana House but was defeated in his re-election bid in the May 2022 GOP primary.

Sandlin, a retired Indianapolis police officer for more than 23 years, was serving his second term in the Statehouse when he died suddenly in September. He was a strong advocate of public safety, and Carrasco said she intends to continue that mission.

“I look forward to advocating for law enforcement and public safety, an education system that works for  all children and parents, and policies that support families, small businesses, our local communities, and a thriving economy,” Carrasco said when she was sworn in. “It’s time to get to work.”

Carrasco was sworn into the Indiana Senate by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush on the Senate floor. She will now serve the remainder of Sandlin’s four-year term, which ends in 2024.

The caucus was not Carrasco’s first foray into politics. In 2022, she challenged incumbent Democrat Ryan Mears for Marion County Prosecutor, winning 41% of the vote but ultimately falling short in her bid.

Carrasco said one of her “first and biggest supporters” during her run for prosecutor was Sandlin. He died suddenly in September and during the party caucus, Carrasco called him a “true leader for our community and conservative causes.”

She also acknowledged Sandlin as she took the oath of office.

“While being sworn into the State Senate occurs after unforeseen and tragic circumstances with the passing of Senator Sandlin, I am honored to have the opportunity to serve and carry on his legacy,” Carrasco said. “I will never seek to be another Jack, but I will work every day to represent the people of Marion and Johnson Counties just as he had, and advocate for our shared values.”

 Dwight Adams, a freelance editor and writer based in Indianapolis, edited this article. He is a former content editor, copy editor and digital producer at The Indianapolis Star and, and worked as a planner for other newspapers, including the Louisville Courier Journal.

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