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Democratic caucus votes to oust Bauer


Lafayette – Members of the Indiana Democratic caucus voted Thursday afternoon to oust longtime leader Patrick Bauer at a session in Lafayette.

The members elected Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, as his replacement.

The House Democratic leader on Wednesday vowed not to resign amid the messy internal power struggle.

Today, Bauer graciously stepped back – a day after alleging that the meeting was illegitimate.

“There’s no question it was painful,” he said from his South Bend home. “I have learned a lot of things in my life and one thing is you just keep going and keep moving forward and that’s what I intend to do.”

He also praised Lawson, saying "to be a minority leader is a very difficult job and I think she can handle that."

He issued a written statement today after the vote.

"This has been one of the most personally heartbreaking things any of us have had to go through," said Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City.

He said he loves and admires Bauer, but it is time for a fresh direction.

Twenty-three of 40 members attended the caucus and at least 21 voted.

A majority vote is needed for this action. The caucus does not normally make its vote counts public.