Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: February 9, 1970, Chicago, IL

Home: Indianapolis

Education: Wabash Col., B.A. 1992; IN U., Indianapolis, J.D. 1995.

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1995-97; gen. cnsl., Office of IN Secy. of St., 1997-2000; IN dep. secy. of st., 2000-02.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Kathy) , 2 children

Republican Todd Rokita, elected in 2010, is a former Indiana secretary of state and devout conservative who also has become one of his party’s energetic fundraisers.

Rokita grew up in Munster, Ind., the oldest of three children. His father was a dentist who owned his own practice, and his mother was a dental hygienist. Rokita was president of his high school student body and won a full scholarship to Wabash College, an all-male liberal arts school. He majored in political science, focusing on political philosophy, and studied for a semester at the University of Essex in England. Rokita told National Journal that his semester in Europe reinforced his already conservative political beliefs. Fellow students told him about long lines and poor service in government-run hospitals, and he noticed the high cost of goods because of a value-added tax, a form of consumption tax collected in Europe. His experience abroad was “a good glimpse into what the future of America would and could be with liberalism on the march here,” he said.

After earning his law degree at Indiana University, Rokita worked in private practice for several years. A licensed pilot, Rokita focused on aviation law, among other fields. He also volunteered flying people in need of non-emergency medical care to hospitals and clinics throughout the Midwest. While working on local and state campaigns, he met Indiana’s then-Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy, who hired him as her general counsel and later made him deputy secretary of state. Rokita also worked for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000, training workers to challenge ballots during the historic 2000 Florida recount.

In 2002, Gilroy was term-limited out of office, and Rokita ran for the Republican nomination to succeed her. In Indiana, convention delegates choose the nominees for all statewide offices other than governor. Rokita took a leave of absence from his job, bought a surplus police car, and drove across the state, meeting with delegates in their homes. He won the Republican nomination for secretary of state on the third ballot and went on to win the general election.

In office, he fulfilled a campaign pledge to get a bill through the legislature requiring a photo ID at polling places to combat perceived voter fraud. Critics of the 2005 law argued that it disenfranchised poor voters who are less likely to have driver’s licenses (and are more likely to vote Democratic). A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld it in 2008.

Rokita was embroiled in another controversy with civil rights undercurrents. In a 2007 speech, he questioned why 90% of blacks vote for Democrats. “How can that be?” Rokita said, according to the Associated Press. “Ninety to 10 (percent for Republicans). Who’s the master and who’s the slave in that relationship? How can that be healthy?” After African-American leaders condemned his remarks, Rokita apologized. In 2009, he managed to infuriate members of both political parties in the state when he proposed making it a felony for lawmakers to draw legislative districts based on political data such as party registration and where incumbents live.

Rokita considered challenging Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh in 2010 but jumped into the congressional race instead when GOP Rep. Steve Buyer announced his retirement. His main primary opponent was state Sen. Brandt Hershman, Buyer’s district director. With high name recognition and solid fundraising, Rokita won 42% of the vote to Hershman’s 17%, while 11 other candidates split the rest. Rokita went on to easily win in November against Purdue University professor David Sanders, the Democratic candidate, 69% to 26%. Libertarian John Duncan got 5%.

In the House, Rokita was one of three GOP freshmen named to the Republican Steering Committee, which makes committee assignments. He recruited fellow freshmen to donate at fundraising events and took in nearly $200,000 through his leadership political action committee during the 2012 election season. But he still showed a willingness to break ranks with Republican leaders. He voted against the New Year’s Day 2013 budget deal on taxes and spending aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff, and he was one of 67 Republicans to oppose subsequent storm relief for the Northeast, saying, “Just as normal American families do, we have to be willing to cut spending on less important things if we want to pay for emergency expenses.”

No fan of labor unions, Rokita successfully attached an amendment to a House-passed omnibus spending bill in June 2011 barring the Transportation Security Administration from using money for collective bargaining. He also came up with a “Red Tape Rollback” initiative that aims to change or delay implementation of regulations he deemed harmful to business.

Post-2010 census redistricting put Rokita’s home in the Indianapolis-based 7th District. But all but a handful of his constituents remained in the 4th, and he didn’t have to break a sweat in winning reelection with 62% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5037

(202) 226-0544

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1717
Washington, DC 20515-1404

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5037

(202) 226-0544

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1717
Washington, DC 20515-1404

DISTRICT OFFICE

(317) 718-0404

(317) 718-0405

355 South Washington Street
Danville, IN 46122-1779

DISTRICT OFFICE

(317) 718-0404

(317) 718-0405

355 South Washington Street
Danville, IN 46122-1779

DISTRICT OFFICE

(765) 838-3930

(765) 838-3931

337 Columbia Street
Lafayette, IN 47901-1315

DISTRICT OFFICE

(765) 838-3930

(765) 838-3931

337 Columbia Street
Lafayette, IN 47901-1315

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

5802 Oak Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46219-7219

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

5802 Oak Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46219-7219

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Mark Cruz
Legislative Director

mark.cruz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5037

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Alex Osborne
Legislative Correspondent

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Mark Cruz
Legislative Director

mark.cruz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5037

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Crime

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Education

Mark Cruz
Legislative Director

mark.cruz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5037

Environment

Mark Cruz
Legislative Director

mark.cruz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5037

Finance

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Jessica Williams
Executive Assistant

Health

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Alex Osborne
Legislative Correspondent

Housing

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Jessica Williams
Executive Assistant

Judiciary

Jessica Williams
Executive Assistant

Labor

Mark Cruz
Legislative Director

mark.cruz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5037

Medicare

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Military

Alex Osborne
Legislative Correspondent

Public Works

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Science

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Parker Reynolds
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Alex Osborne
Legislative Correspondent

Welfare

Michael Mets
Legislative Assistant

Jessica Williams
Executive Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Todd Rokita
Votes: 168,688
Percent: 61.96%
Tara Nelson
Votes: 93,015
Percent: 34.16%
2012 PRIMARY
Todd Rokita
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Todd Rokita
Votes: 138,732
Percent: 68.57%
David Sanders
Votes: 53,167
Percent: 26.28%
John Duncan
Votes: 10,423
Percent: 5.15%
2010 PRIMARY
Todd Rokita
Votes: 36,411
Percent: 42.36%
Brandt Hershman
Votes: 14,712
Percent: 17.12%
R. Michael Young
Votes: 6,991
Percent: 8.13%
Eric Wathen
Votes: 5,493
Percent: 6.39%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (69%)

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