A former U.S. Steel executive was the only person to enter the race to complete the term of Republican state Sen. Vic Heinold.Ed Charbonneau will be the sole candidate considered by a caucus of Republican committee members at Knox High School on Saturday, GOP officials said.
Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to file to succeed Heinold, who announced in April that he was resigning the seat to take a new job in Louisiana.Heinold was first elected to the Senate in 2004, and Charbonneau would complete the term, which ends with the November 2008 election. Republicans control the Senate by a 33-17 margin.
Charbonneau is interim president of Merrillville-based Methodist Hospitals. He was director of governmental affairs at U.S. Steel before his retirement in 2002 following 36 years with the company.
He will represent Senate District 5, which includes Starke County and parts of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Jasper, Pulaski and St. Joseph counties.
Another new senator from northwestern Indiana will be selected in the coming weeks as Democratic Sen. Sam Smith Jr. of East Chicago announced Monday that he would resign from his District 2 seat to devote more time to his family's funeral home business.
This is just the beginning of the process of appointing new legislators. A number of legislators are expected to follow Sen. Sam Smith's lead and give up their seats in order to take advantage of the health insurance for life benefit scheduled to end in July.