News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 8, 2010

State Rep. Tincher will not seek re-election

State Rep. Vern Tincher, D-Riley, will not seek re-election to the Indiana House of Representatives in the May primary election.

Tincher, 73, made the announcement Monday at the Vigo County Annex, at First and Oak streets.

His wife, Linda, also attended the news conference.

“I think Linda and I have contributed a great deal of public service to our community and this seems like a good time to retire from politics,” said Tincher, who was first elected to Indiana House District 46 in November 1982. He has served in the Indiana House 24 of the past 28 years, losing just two times — in 1994 and 2002.

Tincher’s announcement places a political question mark on District 46, said Ed Feigenbaum, publisher of Indiana Legislative Insight. However, the pullout can be viewed in different ways, he said. One view, likely shared by both Democrats and Republicans, is that incumbents may face a tough election this year.

“The betting money at this point, when you take a snapshot today, suggests that new faces, challengers to incumbents and people who have not been part of the system, will fare better on Election Day than incumbents,” Feigenbaum said, Monday.

Feigenbaum said Republicans could even face a backlash with GOP candidate Bob Heaton, who lost against Tincher two years ago. “There may be people who think Bob Heaton is a retread, couldn’t win the first time and that is bad. There are different ways of perceiving that,” Feigenbaum said.

“Republicans will say [Tincher’s pullout] it is a big plus for them and gives them an opportunity to pick up an open House seat. Democrats will probably say they now have an opportunity to give voters what they seem to be looking for this year, that is someone who is a different face,” Feigenbaum said.

Yet predicting any outcome is not easy, he said.

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