Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
The Lieutenant Governor of Indiana is a constitutional office in the US State of Indiana. Republican Suzanne Crouch, who assumed office 9 January 2017, is the incumbent; the office holder's constitutional roles are to serve as President of the Indiana Senate, become acting governor during the incapacity of the governor, become governor should the incumbent governor resign, die in office, or be impeached and removed from office. Lieutenant governors have succeeded ten governors following their resignations; the lieutenant governor holds statutory positions, serving as the head of the state agricultural and rural affairs bureaus, as the chairman of several state committees. The annual salary of the lieutenant governor is $88,000; the lieutenant governor is elected on the same election ticket as the Governor in a statewide election held every four years, concurrent with United States presidential elections. Should a lieutenant governor die while in office, resign, or succeed to the governorship, the constitution specifies no mechanism by which to fill vacancies in the lieutenant governor's office.
The position has remained vacant during such events. The last attempt to fill such a vacancy in 1887 led to the outbreak of violence in the state legislature known as the Black Day of the General Assembly. However, in recent years the Governor has appointed a Lieutenant Governor; the position of lieutenant governor was created with the adoption of the first Constitution of Indiana in August 1816. The position was filled by an October election; the position was retained and the current requirements established in the state's second and current constitution adopted in 1851. To become lieutenant governor, a candidate must have been a United States citizen and lived within Indiana for the period of five consecutive years before the election; the candidate must be at least thirty years old when sworn into office. The lieutenant governor may not hold any federal office during his term, must resign from any such position before being eligible to be sworn in as lieutenant governor. Before taking the office, the candidate must swear an oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, promising to uphold the constitution and laws of Indiana.
The lieutenant governor serves as acting governor. In the state's early history, lieutenant governors would serve as acting governor while the governor was away from the capital. Christopher Harrison was the first lieutenant governor to serve as acting governor while Jonathan Jennings negotiated treaties far from the capital. If the governor dies in office, becomes permanently incapacitated, resigns, or is impeached, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. In total, ten lieutenant governors become governor by succession; the first occurrence was when Jonathan Jennings resigned to become a congressman and was succeeded by Ratliff Boon. In the event that both the governorship and lieutenant-governorship are vacant, the constitution stipulates that the Senate President pro tempore becomes governor. Governors appointed the pro tempore to serve as acting lieutenant governor as a formality; this practice ended in the early twentieth century. Although the constitution did not specify a method to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governorship, an attempt to fill a vacancy occurred in 1887.
When the winner of the election attempted to be seated, the Senate erupted into violence known as the Black Day of the General Assembly. Should the lieutenant governorship become vacant for any reason, including death, resignation, or succession, the governor may nominate a replacement who must be approved by both houses of the General Assembly; the lieutenant governor has two constitutional functions. The primary function is to serve as the President of the Indiana Senate. In the Senate the lieutenant governor is permitted to debate on legislation, introduce legislation, vote on matters to break ties; as presiding officer in the Senate, lieutenant governors have partial control over what legislation will be considered, influence on the legislative calendar. Unless a special session is called by the governor, the Senate meets for no more than 91 days in any two years period, leaving the lieutenant governor free from his or her senatorial duties in the remainder of the year; the secondary function is to serve as a successor to the governorship should it become vacant, or act as governor if necessary.
If a lieutenant governor should succeed to the governorship, the office of lieutenant governor and President of the Senate become vacant. The majority of the powers exercised by the lieutenant governor are statutory and have been assigned by the Indiana General Assembly; the first additional powers granted to the lieutenant governor were added in 1932 when the office holder was made the head of the state's agricultural commission. The office's powers have since expanded to include the chairmanship of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Office of Energy and Defense Development, the Office of Tourism Development; as head of the various office and committees, the lieutenant governor controls many patronage positions and is permitted to fill them by appointment. Important positions filled by the lieutenant governor include the members of the Corn Marketing Council, the Main Street Council, Steel Advisory Commission, the Indiana Film Commission.
In addition to the chairmanship of the committees, the lieutenant governor is a participating member of the Natural Resources Committee, State Office Building Commission, Air Pollution Control Board, W
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
Geography of Indiana
The geography of Indiana comprises the physical features of the land and relative location of U. S. State of Indiana. Indiana is in borders on Lake Michigan. Surrounding states are Michigan to the north and northeast, Illinois to the west, Kentucky to the south, Ohio to the east; the entire southern boundary is the Ohio River. Total area is 36,291 square miles, ranked 38th in size of the 50 states. Lake Michigan is the largest waterbody wholly or within the state borders. Near Bethel in Wayne County is the highest point in the state at 1,275 feet above sea level; the Ohio River at southwest of Mt. Vernon is the lowest point, at 320 feet above sea level. Indiana is bordered on the north by the state of Michigan. Indiana is one of the Great Lakes states; the northern boundary of the states of Ohio and Illinois was defined to be a latitudinal line drawn through the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan. Since such a line did not provide Indiana with usable frontage on the lake, its northern border was shifted ten miles north when it was granted statehood in 1816.
The 475 mile long Wabash River bisects the state from northeast to southwest before flowing south along the Indiana-Illinois border. The river has given Indiana a few theme songs, such as On the Banks of the Wabash, The Wabash Cannonball and Back Home Again, In Indiana; the Wabash is the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi River, traversing 400 miles from the Huntington dam to the Ohio River. The White River, a tributary of the Wabash, zigzags through central Indiana. There are 24 Indiana state parks, nine man-made reservoirs, hundreds of lakes in the state. Areas under the control and protection of the National Park Service or the United States Forest Service include: George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore near Michigan City Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City Hoosier National Forest in Bedford The state of Indiana can be divided into several distinct regions. Northern Indiana consists of 26 counties in the northern third of the state.
The landscape is characterized physically by flat to rolling terrain ranging from 600 to 1,000 feet above sea level and is similar to central Indiana except for the presence of higher and hillier terminal moraines and many glacial kettle lakes in some areas. Sand dunes and sand ridges exist along the Lake Michigan shoreline and inland around the Kankakee River Basin; the Eastern Continental Divide goes through Northern Indiana following the top of the Valparaiso Moraine part of the way. Besides some urban areas, much of Northern Indiana is farmland. Heavy industry is as much a part of the economy in the eastern two thirds of Northern Indiana as agriculture, and, as a result, the region tends to be associated with the Rust Belt. Northern Indiana as a whole is the most ethnically diverse region in Indiana; the northwest corner of the state is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and has nearly one million residents. Gary, the cities and towns that make up the northern half of Lake, La Porte Counties bordering on Lake Michigan, are commuter suburbs of Chicago.
Porter and Lake counties are referred to as "The Calumet Region". The name comes from the fact that the Grand Little Calumet rivers run through the area; these counties are in the same as Chicago. NICTD owns and operates the South Shore Line, a commuter rail line that runs electric-powered trains between South Bend and Chicago. Sand dunes and heavy industry share the shoreline of Lake Michigan in northern Indiana. Along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana one can find many parks between the industrial areas; the Indiana Dunes National Park and the Indiana Dunes State Park are two natural landmarks of the area. Northwest Indiana is marked with swell and swale topography as it retreats South from Lake Michigan and is one of the marshiest parts of the state; the ecology changes between swells, or on opposite sides of the same swell. Plants and animals adapted to marshes are found in the swales, while forests or prickly pear cactus and six-lined racerunners are found in the dryer swells.
The Kankakee River, which winds through northern Indiana, serves somewhat as a demarcating line between suburban northwest Indiana and the rest of the state. Before it was drained and developed for agriculture, the Kankakee Marsh was one of the largest freshwater marshes in the country. South of the Kankakee is a large area of prairie, the eastern edge of the Grand Prairie that covers Iowa and Illinois; the prairie chicken and American bison were common in Indiana's pioneer era, but are now extinct as wild species within the state. The South Bend metropolitan area, in north central Indiana, is the center of commerce in the region better known as Michiana. Other cities located within the area include Elkhart, Mishawaka and Warsaw. Fort Wayne, the state's second largest city, is located in the northeastern part of the state where it serves the state as a transportation hub. Other cities located within the area include Marion. East of Fort Wayne is an area of flat land that, before development, was the western-most reach of the Great Black Swamp.
Northeastern Indiana is home to a number of lakes, many of which are kettle lakes, which were caused by the glaciers that covered Indiana thousands of years ago and Glacial Lake Maumee. Some of these
Supreme Court of Indiana
The Supreme Court of Indiana, established by Article 7 of the Indiana Constitution, is the highest judicial authority in the state of Indiana. Located in Indianapolis, the Court's chambers are in the north wing of the Indiana Statehouse. In December 1816, the Supreme Court of Indiana succeeded the General Court of the Indiana Territory as the state's high court. During its long history the Court heard a number of high-profile cases, including State. Begun as a three-member judicial panel, the Court underwent major reforms in 1852 and 1971, as well as several other reorganizations. Court reforms led to a majority of Supreme Court cases being delegated to lower courts, an enlarged panel of justices, employment of a large staff to assist as its caseload increases. In 2008 the Court consisted of one chief justice and four associate justices, the constitutional minimum. A board of five commissioners assists the Court in its administrative duties. Commissioners are appointed by the governor; the Court offices and chambers are located on the third floor in the north wing of the Indiana Statehouse.
The Court maintains a large legal library on the third floor, open to the public. The Court has no original jurisdiction in most cases, meaning that it can only hear cases appealed to the Court after having been heard in lower courts. Most cases begin in local circuit courts, where the initial trial is held and a jury decides the outcome of the case; the circuit court decision can be appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals or the Indiana Tax Court, who can hear the case or enforce the lower court's decision. If the parties still disagree with the outcome of the case, they can appeal the decision to the Indiana Supreme Court; the Court can choose to hear the case and overturn the previous judgment, or it can decline to accept the case and uphold the decision of the lower courts. The Supreme Court of Indiana has original and sole jurisdiction in certain specific areas, including the practice of law, discipline or disbarment of judges appointed to the lower state courts, supervision over the exercise of jurisdiction by the other lower courts of the state.
When the Court accepts a case, it reviews the documentation of the trials in the lower court and sometimes allows oral arguments before making a decision. In some cases the justices will issue a decision without hearing arguments from either side and will base their decision on evidence submitted in the lower courts; the Court can order a new trial to take place in the local court, overturn the decision of lower courts and enforce its own decision, or uphold the decision of lower courts. The Court appoints three commissions to assist it in its exclusive jurisdiction over the practice of law in Indiana; the role of the Board of Law Examiners is to "inquire into and determine the character and general qualifications to be admitted to practice law as a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Indiana." The Disciplinary Commission is responsible for investigating grievances filed against members of the bar for misconduct and making disciplinary recommendations to the Supreme Court. The Commission for Continuing Legal Education administers and regulates continuing legal education requirements, mediation training standards, attorney specialization programs.
The Judicial Nominating Commission is responsible for recruiting and interviewing applicants to fill vacancies on the Indiana Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Tax Court. It sends three nominees for each vacancy to the governor; the Judicial Qualification Commission investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and files charges where appropriate. Both commissions are chaired by the chief justice; the entire Court takes part in the annual Judicial Conference of Indiana, attended by all of the state's judges, recommends improvements to the Court and state judiciary. The Court is responsible for implementing all laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly that affect the judiciary; the Division of Supreme Court Administration is staffed by clerks who oversee the fiscal management of the courts, including payroll and expenses. In addition, the division is responsible for maintaining the Court's records and assists in its administrative functions. Article 7 of the Indiana Constitution governs the term length of Supreme Court Justices.
When there is a vacancy on the Court, a new justice is nominated using a variation of the Missouri Plan. First, the Judicial Nominating Commission submits a list of three qualified nominees to the governor; the governor selects the new Justice from the list. If the governor fails to choose a replacement within sixty days, the chief justice or the acting chief justice must do so; the Judicial Nomination Commission Chief Justice selects the chief justice from the sitting associate justices for a five-year term. The chief justice presides over the Court; when the position of chief justice becomes vacant, the most senior member of the Court serves as the acting chief justice until a new one is chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission. The chief justice serves as chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Justices are appointed to a term that could last for ten years. Once a new justice is chosen, he may serve for two years before being subjected to a retention election held during the first statewide election following the completion of the justice's second year in office.
The justice is listed on the ballot with the option to be rejected from the Court. If retained, the justice may serve th
Indiana House of Representatives
The Indiana House of Representatives is the lower house of the Indiana General Assembly, the state legislature of the United States state of Indiana. The House is composed of 100 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. House members serve two-year terms without term limits. According to the 2010 census, each State House district contains an average of 64,838 people; the House convenes at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis. In order to run for a seat for the Indiana House of Representatives one must be a citizen of the United States, has to be at least 21 years of age upon taking office, should reside in the state of Indiana for 2 years and in the district to represent for at least 1 year at the time of the election. Representatives serve terms of two years, there is no limit on how many terms a representative may serve. †Member was appointed to the seat. As of 25 July 2018; the Indiana House of Representatives held its first session in the first statehouse in the original state capital of Corydon and the first speaker of the body was Isaac Blackford.
Under the terms of the constitution of 1816, state representatives served one years terms, meaning elections were held annually. In 1851, the constitution was replaced by the current constitution and terms were lengthened to two years, but sessions were held biennially. A 1972 constitutional amendment allowed for a short legislative session to be held in odd numbered years. On November 6, 2012, the Republican Party in Indiana expanded their majority in the House of Representatives from 60 members in the 117th General Assembly to 69 members, a "quorum-proof" majority; the Republicans were able to take 69% of the seats, despite having only received 54% of the votes for the state's House of Representatives. Of the 3 newly elected members of the U. S. House elected to the 113th Congress from Indiana, two are former members of the Indiana House of Representatives. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski represented Indiana's 21st district from 2005 to 2011 and Congressman Luke Messer represented Indiana's 57th district from 2003 to 2007.
Congressman Marlin Stutzman was re-elected to a second term, he is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives where he served Indiana's 52nd district from 2003 to 2009. Speaker of the Indiana State House of Representatives Indiana Senate Government of Indiana Politics of Indiana American Legislative Exchange Council members Indiana General Assembly Indiana House of Representatives at Ballotpedia State House of Indiana at Project Vote Smart Indiana House Democrats Indiana House Republicans 2015 Indiana Candidate Guide - Qualifications
James Whitcomb was a Democratic United States Senator and the eighth Governor of Indiana. As governor during the Mexican–American War, he oversaw the formation and deployment of the state's levies, he led the movement to replace the state constitution and played an important role at the convention to institute a law that prevented the government from taking loans in response the current fiscal crisis in Indiana. By skillfully guiding the state through its bankruptcy, Whitcomb is credited as being one of the most successful of Indiana's governors, he was elected to the United States Senate after his term as governor but died of kidney disease only two years later. James Whitcomb was born in Rochester, Vermont on December 1, 1795, the fourth of ten children of John W. and Lydia Parmenter Whitcomb. In 1806 his family moved to Ohio where they farmed land. Whitcomb loved to read books, but his father would discourage him from reading, believing that his son needed to take up manual labor to have a successful future.
Instead, young Whitcomb taught school and attended Transylvania University in Kentucky, where he studied law and adopted many southern customs. After returning to the north, he became known for his "fastidious dress and elegant manners", was criticized during his life for being a fop. Whitcomb loved music, was able to play many different instruments, but his favorite was the violin, he became well known for his talented playing and would dance and play for friends throughout his life. After graduating in 1819 he moved to Fayette County, where he was admitted to the bar and, in March 1822, began to practice law, he moved to Indiana in 1824, where he continued to practice law. In Bloomington he became respected in the community. Whitcomb was appointed as prosecuting attorney for Monroe County, Indiana by Governor James B. Ray and served from 1826 to 1829, his position earned him some fame in the area because of several high-profile cases that he prosecuted. In 1830, he was elected to serve as a member of the Indiana Senate.
Other senators noted Whitcomb's addiction to tobacco, that he was always smoking a cigar. In the Senate Whitcomb was the most outspoken of the anti-internal-improvement men, he was one of only nine men to speak against the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act in the Senate debate, his chief cohorts being Dennis Pennington, Calvin Fletcher and John Durmont. Despite their protests the bill was passed, he voted for it after a meeting with his own constituents who asked him to "go for it". Whitcomb was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to serve as the Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington, D. C. from 1836 until 1841. He secured the post with the help of Congressman Ratliff Boon. While in office he undertook the study of French and Spanish so that he was able to read the land treaties, became fluent in both languages, his primary work was overseeing the survey of large tracts of land in Iowa and Wisconsin and dealing with land disputes in the purchased Florida Territory. Upon resigning from the Land Office in 1841, Whitcomb moved to Terre Haute, where he launched his campaign as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
In 1843 he authored a pamphlet entitled "Facts for the People" in which he made a case against the federal government's adoption of protective tariffs. The pamphlet was popular and read in the state; that year he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for governor. The Whigs, the primary backers of the internal improvements, had come under increasing criticism in the term of Samuel Bigger; the program had broken down in 1841 and most of the state's investment in the projects was lost. The state had negotiated a partial bankruptcy by the transfer of the project to the state's creditors, in exchange for a reduction in the state's outstanding debt. Despite this progress, the debt was still too large for the state to bear and the situation was still dire. Whitcomb campaigned on the issue and overcame the Whigs, who received most of the public blame for the debacle. Bigger, a Presbyterian, had made disparaging comments against Methodists during the campaign. Whitcomb, a Methodist, played up the statements and gained a great deal of support from the large Methodist community, as Bigger became the object of fiery sermons in their churches.
Whitcomb won the election and defeated incumbent Governor Samuel Bigger in a close election, 60,784 votes to Bigger's 58,721 with 1,683 going to Elizur Demming, fielded by the newly formed anti-slavery Liberty Party. The victory was a swing of 10,000 votes from the last election. Upon his election, he found the government coffers empty, as the state had exhausted itself in an attempt to recover from overspending on internal improvements during the 1830s. During his term, the government began to recover from the losses of the internal improvements; the Bigger administration had overseen a large reduction in the state's debt, but the government was still unable to make headway on the nine-million dollar debt that still existed. During his first term, he advocated major spending cuts, including large cuts in government employee wages; those cuts, along with improving state revenues, enabled the government to manage its debt during his first term in office. Whitcomb advocated the creation of the Indiana School for the Deaf, an asylum for the mentally insane.
Both acts were passed. As his first term ended, he announced. Touting the success of current measures to resolve the debt situation, Whitcomb won reelection with 64,104 votes to 60,138 to Whig Joseph G. Marshall, 2,301