State Rep. Pelath explains his reasons for declining to run again

State Rep. Scott Pelath addresses the Indiana House in this Indiana Democratic Party photo.

Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, announced Nov. 19, 2017, that he will not seek an 11th 2-year term as 9th District state representative in 2018. He has also stepped down as Democratic minority leader, effective immediately.

Pelath told House Democrats in an email that his decision is based in part on his desire to spend more time with his family. He and his wife, Laura, recently welcomed a baby boy named Leo.

“Immediately after the past election, I confided to many of you that I was not going to do this forever. And after several months of repressed doubts, soul-searching, and discussions with my family, that time has come — as it does for most of us,” Pelath said in the email. “I have always viewed the position of leader as pure service, not one of grandiosity or ambition.”

Pelath will finish his current term as state representative.

He was first elected to represent the 9th District in 1998. He made a mark in the Legislature as a procedural expert guiding the flow of legislation, and through his service on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he was instrumental in overseeing funding for countless state priorities.

In 2012, he was elected House Democratic Leader by his colleagues.

His legislative highlights include passage of the Great Lakes Water Use Compact, which helps protect the water in every state and Canadian province that borders the Great Lakes.

During the past session, Pelath was instrumental in passage of legislation designed to enhance economic opportunities along the South Shore Line in Northwest Indiana.

He works as a human resources director at the Swanson Center in Michigan City.

In addition to his son, Pelath has two daughters, Israel and Isabella, and a stepson named Enzo.

Pelath received a Bachelor of Science degree in public affairs from Indiana University in 1992 and served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer from 1992 to 1997.

He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a graduate of the Indiana University ROTC program and the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, Ky. He is a member of the American Legion.

Listen to an audio clip of Pelath addressing the media Nov. 20 by clicking on this link:

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