GARY | Earline Rogers remained cautiously optimistic Tuesday before declaring herself the winner of the 3rd Indiana Senate District seat.
"The way the numbers are coming in, it looks as though I have another four year term ahead of me. I look forward to serving the 3rd Senate District residents," Rogers said.
Her campaign workers, some of whom were still crunching numbers back in what she called her "war room," hugged Rogers and offered her congratulations.
Rogers' challengers were David Vinzant, a Hobart city councilman, and Darren Washington, president of the Gary School Board.
Vinzant said he defeated Rogers in his hometown of Hobart and in nearby Lake Station, but she handily won in Gary.
"We ran a good campaign, but Earline got the big numbers in Gary," Vinzant said.
The 3rd Indiana Senate District includes Gary, Hobart, Lake Station, New Chicago and parts of Merrillville and Crown Point.
Rogers said during her campaign voters should re-elect her because she consistently wins approval of legislation in the Republican-controlled Senate, including early childhood education programs and child abuse prevention measures in 2012.
The 77-year-old veteran legislator said she believes her experience and across-the-aisle friendships can help enact the ambitious 2013 legislative agenda of Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, including a land-based casino, improved public transportation and a Gary teaching hospital.
"I'm exciting and thankful and appreciative of the voters putting confidence in me again," Rogers said.
No Republicans were on the primary ballot for that seat Tuesday.