Rep. Cleo Duncan will not seek re-election

Wanda English Burnett

State Representative Cleo Duncan announced she will not seek a 9th term in the Indiana General Assembly Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Ripley County Courthouse, Versailles.
Those gathered for the announcement heard the catch in Duncan’s voice as she made the announcement. She has served since 1994 and said she is “not crawling into the woodwork” by any means, but intends to remain active helping the area she has served and the state she loves in a non-elected way.

Duncan said she will remain active until her term is fulfilled, and has plans for additional bills to be introduced in the upcoming session. “I will continue to hold ‘Town Hall’ meetings,” she told the Osgood Journal.

Saying she believes it is healthy to have new people in politics, Duncan says she’s been blessed to serve the people of the 67th District for the past 15 years. “I have been a part of many great things that have happened in Indiana and feel it is time for others to participate.”

Some highlights of her tenure as a politician include authoring many laws. One in particular was Indiana’s “Move Over Law” which was brought about through the tragic death of ISP Trooper Andrew Winzenread, Versailles Post.

Duncan also helped to advance Southeastern Indiana distance learning initiatives, helped individuals with autism and their families, and was instrumental in forming the Vernon Fork Water District. She also worked closely with Governor Mitch Daniels and other elected officials to help bring the Honda plant to Greensburg.

Duncan has served on the House Roads and Transportation Committee and was the first woman to chair that committee. She also served on Financial Institutions, the Autism Commission, Homeland Security and many transportation related panels.

She was a true advocate for women in government and was proud to be a member of the unofficial “House Short People’s Caucus.”

As Ripley County Chairman Ginger Bradford introduced Duncan, she thanked her “from the bottom of my heart,” for all she has done for Southeastern Indiana, Ripley County in particular. She noted that the representative had done so much it would be impossible to list everything.

Rep. Duncan was presented roses from the Ripley County Republican Women’s Club and a crystal pitcher from the Central Committee with words engraved thanking her for her representation of Ripley County throughout the years.

When Duncan first made the decision to run for office, she said, “I truly wanted to do it to help people.” She continued, “I feel that I have always held to that principle and have kept the interests of the people of Southeastern Indiana first and foremost.”

“She listens to everyone,” remarked Emily Landis, press secretary for Duncan, who further noted Duncan has been a delight to work with, someone she will miss greatly.

Duncan thanked her husband, John, who was with her and has been to numerous parades and events over the past 15 years. “He’s been great,” she noted. She also thanked her constituents and colleagues in the General Assembly. “I treasure the friendships I’ve made and the time spent serving the wonderful people of the 67th District,” she concluded.

While she has plans to spend more time with her family, three daughters, their husbands, and five grandchildren, Duncan said she will continue her mission to serve the district and Indiana.

The first floor of the Ripley County Courthouse set the stage for the first announcement that State Representative Cleo Duncan will not be seeking re-election to a 9th term in the Indiana General Assembly on the Republican ticket. Pictured left are Ripley County Republican Chairman Ginger Bradford, and Representative Duncan, loaded with flowers and gifts from Ripley County thanking her for 15 years of representation.