In a crowded room filled with Republican precinct committee voters and plenty of interested observers, former Indianapolis City-County Councilman Scott Schneider defeated former State Rep. John Ruckelshaus and City-County Councilman Ryan Vaughn for the Senate District 30 seat Tuesday night. Businessman Chris Douglas dropped out of the race Tuesday morning as we reported on Twitter (@IBRG).
The contest took two ballots to decide a winner, but Schneider nearly shocked the room by coming up just one vote shy of a majority on the first ballot (Schneider 49, Vaughn 37, Ruckelshaus 12 and one spoiled ballot).
A caucus election is notorious for voters being deceptive when it comes to who they are going to vote for, but the Schneider camp was keenly accurate on its vote counts and only missed the mark by one vote. It is also interesting to note that the Douglas camp was equally accurate on the vote totals before pulling out. The Douglas vote count would have also placed him in third place on the first ballot. Many insiders were clearly surprised that 1) Vaughn did not have the lead on the first ballot and 2) Schneider nearly received a majority of the 99 votes.
On the second ballot, the only unanswered question was how many votes would shift to Schneider to give him the victory. The answer was nearly all. The tally on the second ballot was Schneider 61 and Vaughn 38. Schneider gained 12 of the 13 (Ruckelshaus and spoiled) votes from the first ballot. Kudos must be given to Schneider for his ability to win a caucus election when most observers predicted he would finish second or third. It is also interesting to note that all three candidates felt they had enough votes committed to them to win on the first ballot.
Schneider and his family are longtime small business owners who have been involved in politics for a number of years and have an excellent track record of winning tough races. Schneider was introduced by Rep. Cindy Noe. IBRG worked closely with Scott and his father, Bill, to help Noe win during a three-way primary. Schneider adds a much needed voice of understanding and business community experience to the Legislature and is an individual with strong convictions. He will likely turn in the official paperwork to the Secretary of State and the Senate Pro Tempore today and a swearing in date will soon be announced.
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