INDIANAPOLIS | A region GOP legislator announced his bid Thursday to seek the state Senate seat currently held by Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake.
Rep. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, whose 11th District Indiana House term expires after this year, told The Times he filed with the state Thursday to run for the 6th District Senate seat in the May primary.
Landske, whose term also expires after this year, announced earlier this month she will not seek re-election in the wake of a lung cancer diagnosis.
Landske, hailed as an influential region Republican by many in her party, took over the 6th District Senate seat in 1984 after Niemeyer's father, then-Sen. Ernie Niemeyer, became a Lake County commissioner.
Rick Niemeyer said he looks forward to the challenge and opportunity of serving Northwest Indiana on the state Senate level. He also acknowledged the sentimental nature of potentially filling a seat once held by his father.
"Sue (Landske) has done a great job in the Senate office, serving with professionalism and dignity," Niemeyer said. "You never want to run for office because something like this has happened. We all hope she will get better."
Landske announced late last year she was battling lung cancer.
Lake County Republican Chairman Dan Dernulc said he is consulting with state party leaders about possible candidates to run for the 11th District House seat Niemeyer would be leaving.
Also Thursday, prominent Lake County attorney and former Democratic County Councilman Jim Weiser said he is mulling a May primary run for the Democratic nomination in another Indiana House race.
Weiser said he is considering a run for the 15th Indiana House District. The seat currently is held by Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville, who will be the GOP's likely nominee for re-election.
Weiser said he considers Slager a friend and hopes to decide whether to seek the office by Jan. 25.
Dernulc said Slager, now in his second legislative session, made big splashes in his first year in office last year, including successfully pushing through a long-sought bill for spending reforms in Calumet Township.