Indiana Democrat Abandons Reelection Campaign to Pursue County Judge Position

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Indiana state Representative Ryan Hatfield, a Democrat from Evansville, has announced that he will not seek re-election this fall. Instead, Hatfield will be running for a county judge position in Vanderburgh County. Hatfield has represented House District 77 in southern Indiana since 2016.

In a statement, Hatfield expressed his motivation to run for the judge position, saying, “Serving as Circuit Court Judge provides a unique opportunity to directly contribute to the fair and just resolution of legal matters that impact the lives of individuals and families in our community.”

As the ranking minority member of the Indiana House Judiciary and Employment, Labor, and Pensions committees, Hatfield has been a significant voice in the state legislature. Before his tenure in the General Assembly, Hatfield worked as a deputy prosecutor in Vanderburgh County.

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta commented on Hatfield’s departure, calling it a “loss” and stating, “Since his election in 2016, Rep. Hatfield has used his extensive legal expertise to serve the people of Evansville and Hoosiers throughout the state.”

Hatfield’s decision not to seek re-election in 2024 follows a trend among Indiana state lawmakers. Two Republican representatives, Denny Zent and Randy Lyness, previously announced their intentions to forgo re-election in December. Additionally, Republican Representative Bob Cherry announced his retirement after 25 years in November.

Republican Senator Chip Perfect and Republican Representative Randy Frye have also resigned from their positions this year, citing personal reasons and health issues, respectively.

With Hatfield’s departure, Indiana continues to experience changes in its political landscape as lawmakers make decisions about their futures.