Landske announces retirement from state Senate following cancer diagnosis
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent January 9, 2014 2:56PM
State Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, announced in November she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and would begin treatments at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. On Thursday she announced she would not seek re-election after serving in the Sena
Updated: February 11, 2014 6:27AM
Longtime state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, announced Thursday she will not seek re-election so she can tend to her health and family.
“This was a very difficult decision for me to make,” Landske said in a news release. “The Indiana Senate has been a part of my life for a long time. However, I know that I must do what is best for my health and best for the Hoosiers that I serve in Northwest Indiana.”
Landske in November announced she has lung cancer and is receiving treatment at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Methodist Hospitals Southlake campus in Merrillville.
Her departure will leave a void in Senate District 6 that has been the lone Republican stronghold in Lake County for three decades. Daniel Dernulc, Lake County Republican chairman, said it will be difficult to fill Landske’s shoes.
“She’s been a staple, that’s for sure. She’s done a great job. Sue is a true blue Republican and just a great lady. We’ll be sad to see her go,” Dernulc said.
Several possible candidates have expressed interest in the seat, he said, adding the party will not back any specific candidate for the primary but will throw all its support behind whoever wins. Dernulc said any one of several possible Republican candidates can win the seat in the fall General Election.
“We have to make sure the right person takes her spot. We want to keep that seat,” Dernulc said.
Landske, who is assistant president pro tempore and chairwoman of the Senate elections committee, repeated a pledge she made in November to complete her term and continue serving her constituents.
“I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers and want to thank all of you for your support during this time,” she said.
This will be the first time in 40 years the Landske name is not on a Lake County ballot. Landske served as Center Township assessor from 1978 to 1984 before she was elected to the Indiana Senate. She also served as a colonel in the National Guard Reserve.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, praised Landske for her tireless dedication to the Senate.
“Sue Landske has been a great leader for the people of Northwest Indiana for more than 30 years. She has always been a passionate, hardworking servant for her constituents and a steady, influential voice with her Senate colleagues. We will miss her greatly,” Long said.