Gail Riecken

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Gail Riecken
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 77th district
Assumed office
2009
Preceded by Phil Hoy
Personal details
Born (1945-11-09) November 9, 1945 (age 71)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ronald Riecken
Children Julia Belle Riecken Langerak and Katie Riecken Parker
Parents Ed and Mille Engel
Residence Evansville, Indiana
Education Indiana University
Alma mater Benjamin Bosse High School
Occupation Real estate broker,
corporate relations,
riverboat captain
Religion Presbyterian[1]

Gail Riecken (née Engel) is a Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing the 77th District since 2009. She is a candidate for Mayor of Evansville, the third-largest city in the state, in the 2015 election.[2]

Biographical Information[edit]

Personal details[edit]

Gail's parents were named Ed and Mille Engel.[3] Gail Engel graduated from Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville and earned her BA in Sociology and Social Work from Indiana University.[4] Gail and Ron Riecken were married in 1968[5] and have two daughters, Julia Belle Riecken Langerak and Katie Riecken Parker. They also have three grandchildren named Joey, Martha, and George.[6]

Career[edit]

She was a real estate broker and riverboat captain prior to her involvement in electoral politics.[4] From 2000 until 2004, Riecken was an Economic Development specialist with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In 2004, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel appointed Riecken as Director of the City Parks and Recreation Department where she served until December 2007.[7]

Political career[edit]

Election history[edit]

Gail Riecken was first elected to the Evansville City Council in 1989 and was elected again at-large in 1991 and 1995.[1] Riecken ran for Congress in 1998 as the Democratic nominee in Indiana's 8th congressional district but lost in the general election to the incumbent Republican John Hostettler. In 1999, she ran for the mayor of Evansville in the Democratic primary but lost to Democrat Rick Borries.[2] In 2008, Gail Riecken first won election to the Indiana House of Representatives in District 77 in an unopposed race. In 2010, Riecken won re-election by narrowly defeating Republican Cheryl Musgrave by a margin of 7,547 to 7,379 (51% to 49%). In 2012, in a district with redrawn lines favoring Democrats, Riecken defeated Republican Alan Leibundguth 64.4% to 35.6%. In 2014 Riecken won re-election by defeating Republican Jeremy Heath 62% to 38%.[8]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 77 General Election, November 2, 2010[8]

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Gail Riecken Democrat 7,547 51%
Cheryl Musgrave Republican 7,379 49%

Indiana House of Representatives, District 77 General Election, November 6, 2012[8]

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Gail Riecken Democrat 14,037 64.4%
Alan Leibundguth Republican 7,775 35.6%

Controversies[edit]

2011 Legislative walkout[edit]

Riecken and thirty-six other Democratic representatives participated in a legislative walkout on February 22, 2011, in opposition to proposed legislation limiting union powers in Indiana. The Democratic departure left the House void of a quorum, leaving only 58 of the 67 representatives needed to establish a quorum.[9] The Democrats ended the standoff after 36 days, returning on March 28, 2011.

Indiana's Religious Freedom Act[edit]

Riecken was the only southern Indiana legislator to vote against Indiana's proposal of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Riecken stated that the law “will allow individuals to ignore any law they choose, simply because they feel it conflicts with their religious beliefs. It will pave the way for intolerance of others.”[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly". CNN. 
  2. ^ a b John Martin (10 January 2015). "Riecken says mayoral campaign will be about transparency, unity". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Indiana State Representative District # 77". Warrick County Democrats. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Indiana House Democratic Caucus. "Rep. Gail Riecken's Biography". Indiana House Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages: 1958-2012". Indiana State Library. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Gail Riecken to Announce If She Will Be A Candidate For Mayor of Evansville On January 10, 15". City County Observer. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  7. ^ John Martin (10 December 2014). "State Rep. Gail Riecken considering run for mayor". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d Ballotpedia. "Gail Riecken". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Schneider, Mary Beth (22 February 2011). "Exodus: Dems trigger Statehouse showdown". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Randy Moore (26 March 2015). "Riecken only representative to vote against Religious Freedom Restoration Act". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

External links[edit]