Does Morris’ Political Future Hang in the Balance?

By Max Resnik

February 23, 2012 Updated Feb 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Controversial comments made by State Rep. Bob Morris of Fort Wayne referring to the Girl Scouts as a “radicalized organization” have caused some to wonder if he can retain his 84th District seat in 2012.

Morris has no primary challengers for the 84th District seat but will face Lee Jordan, a democrat, in November. The 84th District is very conservative and resoundingly gave Morris the seat back in 2010. He won with nearly 67 percent of the vote.

Andy Downs with The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics says there is good reason to believe that Morris, despite his controversial comments, will retain his seat in November.

“It is a very conservative voting district. I think last election he pulled better than 65 percent of the vote. Redistricting hasn't changed that a whole lot. It might even be a little more conservative than it was or a little more republican than it was. So this is a place where just about any republican whose name is on the ballot should be able to pull 50 percent plus one, or in other words, should be able to win.”

If republicans are truly upset with Morris and want to see him out office, that too would be a tough task according to Downs. House Speaker Brian Bosma could not simply strip Morris of his title, but Downs says he could make life at the Statehouse more difficult for the freshman representative. Downs says Bosma could demote Morris to House committees viewed as less important or impactful.

“Speaker Bosma could do things like change his committee assignments; give him committees that are less appealing to him. You know, you could do other trivial things like change his office--that sort of thing. In other words, make the working conditions so uncomfortable or so fruitless that he would voluntarily decide to get out.”

In the days since Morris made his controversial comments about the Girl Scouts, he released an apology statement Thursday afternoon. In part, Morris says, "I realize now that my words were emotional, reactionary and inflammatory. For that I sincerely apologize. I certainly should not have painted the entire girls scouts organization with such a wide brush."

The full transcript of Morris’ apology can be found above in the Related Links section of this story.

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