Statewide Stepping Stones?

Statewide offices in Indiana are usually seen by ambitious candidates and political observers as a way to build a political launchpad. It's supposed to be a great way to generate name ID, experience, and connections statewide that will give candidates an edge in future races for Governor, U.S. House, or U.S. Senate. But is that really the case? Looking at the tables below, it doesn't look like it is. Even in the best-case scenario of Secretary of State, only about 15% of the individuals who got the job were able to turn it into something else.

Secretary of State

Of the 58 Secretaries of State, only ten were ever elected to a higher office. Of those, Evan Bayh is the sole secretary to make it to the U.S. Senate, while Todd Rokita is only the second (and the first since 1849) to head to the U.S. House.

Office Holder Later Office
William W. Wick U.S. House
James Morrison Attorney General
William John Brown U.S. House
Claude Matthews Governor
Edward L. Jackson Governor
Rue J. Alexander Lieutenant Governor
Crawford F. Parker Lieutenant Governor
Edgar Doud Whitcomb Governor
Birch E. (Evan) Bayh, III Governor
Birch E. (Evan) Bayh, III U.S. Senate
Todd Rokita U.S. House

Auditor of State

Of the 57 Auditors of State, only three have ever been elected to a higher office. All three ended up in the office of Lt. Governor, two of them when that position was elected separately from the Governor (and, coincidentally, both resigned).

Office Holder Later Office
Mahlon Dickerson Manson Lieutenant Governor
Richard Thomas James Lieutenant Governor
Suzanne Crouch Lieutenant Governor

Treasurer of State

Of the 52 Treasurers of State, only two have ever been elected to a higher office. Both ended up as State Auditors.

Office Holder Later Office
Frank T. Mills Auditor of State
Tim Berry Auditor of State

Attorney General

Of the 43 Attorneys General, only two have ever made it to a higher office–but none have ever won a general election for higher office. That's because Joseph McDonald went to the U.S. Senate during a time when the state legislature chose Senators; and Samuel D. Jackson was appointed to fill vacancies in both his stints as Attorney General and U.S. Senator. In fact, Jackson actually lost races for U.S. House and Governor the two times he was on the ballot.

Office Holder Later Office
Joseph McDonald U.S. Senate
Samuel D. Jackson U.S. Senate

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Of the 40 Superintendents of Public Instruction, none have ever gone on to another office in Indiana. This probably isn't suprising, however, given the specialized nature of the office.

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