Thursday, June 03, 2010

Another State Legislator Calling It Quits

You would think that a person who runs for state representative, which has a term of two years, could fulfill the duties of the office for a complete term, but in Indiana it has become an all too common practice for state legislators to quit their office before the end of the term, or quit the race after they've already been nominated in the primary, thereby allowing a small group of party officials to select their replacement. The latest state legislator to take this route is Rep. Matt Bell (R-Avila). Fort Wayne Observed reports that Bell will resign his seat drop his re-election bid to take a position as executive director of the Northeast Indiana Regional Chamber of Commerce. FWOB doesn't detail the duties of his new job, but I suspect that part of his job will be to lobby the Indiana General Assembly on behalf of the newly-formed organization. Dozens of former legislators now work the hallways as lobbyists. A number of them left in the middle of their terms to become lobbyists. A new law will impose a one-year prohibition on legislators who step down from their job from lobbying the legislature. It does not take effect, however, until next year.

Correction: Bell will complete his term. I was mistaken in my original post. He will drop his re-election candidacy, which means precinct committeepersons and not primary voters will get to decide who the Republican candidate is for the general election. His decision will still allow him to avoid the one-year prohibition on lobbying.


Jon Easter said...

It's becoming like the Indianapolis City-County Council!

Unknown said...

Actually, Representative Bell is completing his term which ends this year, he is just not running for another term.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for the correction, Anthony.