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Looking for individual politicians
There are two separate ways to look for politicians that are included in the database.
- Search for any politician here by typing the last and/or first name (and you can optionally limit the results just to those who have ever held office, or to those who are currently holding office)
- Look at a list of politicians by the first letter of their last name, a great way to browse through everyone and learn about new historical figures (note: the names on the pages for the individual letters are italicized if they never held office, and in bold if they are currently in office)
Once you find the politician you’re looking for and click on their name, you’ll find a profile that looks something like this:
Notice that this page has three sections:
- Notable facts: If the politician held any leadership positions in a state or federal legislative body, those will be listed here. Additionally, I’ve started adding other notable facts to random other politicians. For instance, I noted that Pam Carter was the first black woman to serve as Attorney General in any state.
- Offices: This lists the offices held by that person, with one card displayed for each office. It tells you their dates of service, party affiliation, how they came into office, why they left office, and how long they served in that office. Beneath all the cards is a line of text that calculates their total service to the state, and the total time served at the state and federal levels (if applicable). This section can also be hidden with the button on the right.
- Elections: If we have election results for this politician, this is where they will be displayed (for all primary, general, and special elections they ran in). It looks just like the results cards on the results page, but you’ll notice the politician is highlighted so that you can quickly find them in each race. Beneath all the cards is a line of text that calculates their win-loss record overall, and for each type of race (at least based on the information in our database). This section can also be hidden with the button on the right.
Minorities and Women in Office
This is a new tool for the site, and one I’m excited to launch as we near the 100th anniversary of women serving in state and federal offices in 2020. This is a simple tool: Just adjust the filters, hit the button, and get a list of all the office holders who meet the criteria of your filters.
Statewide Stepping Stones
This is a tool I created on the old version of the site, because I wanted to test the conventional wisdom that the statewide, state-level offices in Indiana helped launch political careers. Spoiler alert: It generally doesn’t. This is an automatically updated list for each office that shows which officeholders went on to win a higher office in the future.
While you can click any linked office name you see on the site to find a chronological list of people who held the office (i.e., from a politician page), you can also use the List of All Office and Current Holders (which even shows some defunct offices you can browse).
This main list tells who who currently holds each office, as well as the total number of people who have ever held it. You can click on a legislative chamber name to expand the lists of current legislators (automatically displaying 150 names would make the list really long), and you’ll notice there are separate pages to see the State Speaker of the House and the Presiding Officers of the State Senate by session. Once you click on an office name, you’ll see the chronological listing.
One more thing to note: Prior to 1966, Indiana legislative seats were assigned by county, and weren’t given numbers. You’ll notice that in the image above, the numbered State Senate district 16 only goes back to 1966, and that’s why. From any politicians page, though, if they represented a county you can click on the county name to see the State Senators or State Representatives from that county.
U.S. Senate Pairs
This page, another one of my favorites, was an idea from Ed Feigenbaum a few years ago. Indiana only gets two Senators at any given time, and there’s a lot of fun things to learn about the pairs of Senators that we’ve had. This tool serves a couple purposes.
You can get a chronological listing of all of our Senate pairs to understand who served with whom.
You can explore records related to our Senate pairs, such as what’s the longest period of time we’ve had both Senate seats held by the same/opposite parties, or the longest streak of multiple Senators from the same/opposite parties.
The filters for this tool are slightly different from most of the other filters, but you can choose the order (Longest, Chronological, Reverse Chronological), type of record (All Pairs, Same/Opposite Party Pairs, Same/Opposite Party Streaks), and time frame (All Time, or Post-17th Amendment when we began direct election of U.S. Senators by voters).
General Assembly Session Rosters
Another one of my favorite pages, you can find any list of officeholders for any General Assembly session back to 1816. Along with the list of members, you’ll see the dates that covered that term in office for the officeholders, the dates the legislature was convened in session (broken out by long, short, and special sessions), chamber leadership, and a graphical breakdown of party control.
The filtering looks like most other pages, and allows you to choose the session, the session type (long, short, regular, special, or all), how to arrange the members (alphabetical order, district order, or grouped by party), and whether or not you want the legislators entries to be color-coded by party.
Once you have your filters set, you’ll get all the relevant information presented to you.