In perhaps Allen County’s biggest upset of the 2012 election, longtime state Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, fell to Republican challenger Martin Carbaugh in the race for Indiana House District 81.
Carbaugh, a first-time GOP candidate who ran against the 10-term incumbent on a message of change, collected 51 percent of the overall vote, compared with 44 percent for Moses.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Carbaugh said in an interview after declaring victory. “What’s going through my head is that I don’t comprehend being able to beat an incumbent like Win Moses.”
Carbaugh attributed the win largely to his scores of volunteers, calling the race the “epitome of a team win.” But he also said that he sensed a demand for change among local voters.
In particular, he said voters were frustrated with Moses and other House Democrats for staging walkouts two years in a row in an attempt to block controversial “right-to-work” legislation.
“The two things that came up all the time were the walkout frustrated people, and it was just time for change,” Carbaugh said.
Moses did not make an appearance at the Allen County Democratic Party’s election night gathering at the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 166 hall. John Court, the county Democratic chairman, said he was disappointed with race but also praised Moses for his years of service.
“It was a very disappointing race,” Court said. “Win’s served our community well for many years.”
Moses served as a Fort Wayne City Councilman in the 70s and mayor in the 80s before winning election to the Statehouse in 1992.
Carbaugh said his focus going forward would be on creating jobs statewide and locally.
“The focus is going to be to help bring more jobs into the state, but specifically the 81st District and Fort Wayne,” he said.