Indiana House Democrats ousted Rep. B. Patrick Bauer amid "communication" complaints by other party members.
The Associated Press reports 23 of the 40-member caucus attended a meeting in Lafayette, Ind. where the decision was made. They selected Rep. Linda Lawson (D) - Hammond as the new leader.
"I enjoyed it, obviously, to a certain extent, but there's obviously times as minority leader that's not that enjoyable," said Bauer.
Bauer has been in the House since 1970 and led the Democrats for most of the last decade. Some democrats became frustrated with his leadership following the 2011 walkout during the right-to-work vote.
“Nobody wanted this to happen,” said Rep. Ryan Dvorak, (D) South Bend. “This started out months ago as a series of conversations with Rep. Bauer really to try to get more people involved, bring more talent to the game, include more people in this process, and time after time all those overtures were rebuffed and more and more people became more and more frustrated to the point where it was an untenable situation that no one wanted to be in, but everyone realized, heck, we had to resolve quickly.”
According to Rep. Dvorak, “There was simply a complete breakdown in communications that I’ve never seen before.”
Bauer had hoped those who opposed his leadership would wait until after the November elections and expressed frustration with the caucus.
"I didn't like the process and I didn’t like the reasons because I didn't think they were factual, but I know there was frustration and it was more frustration because we went through two very difficult years," said Bauer. "Being minority leader is like being in a ring with 18 other people swinging at you and so there's something to not having to be there every day in the ring."
Bauer will continue to serve in the House as a representative at least until his term is over in two years.
"We won more than we lost and for a democrat in this state, the minority party, winning more than we lose is pretty good," said Bauer. "I got some great friends that called me and said as long as you're inside that chamber, you're in the game"