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Chester Dobis

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Chester Dobis
Chet Dobis.jpg
Indiana House of Representatives
District 13
Former Member
In office
1970 - 2012
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sIndiana University Northwest
Date of birthAugust 15, 1942
ProfessionVP of Government Services, Bank One
Office website
Chester Dobis (b. August 15, 1942) is a former Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing District 13 from 1970 to 2012. He previously served as Speaker Pro Tempore.

Dobis is Vice President of Government Services for Bank One, and served in the Indiana National Guard.

He is a member of the Gary Sportsmen Club, Indiana University North Chancellors Advisory Board, and Polish National Alliance Silver Bell.[1]

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Dobis served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Dobis served on these committees:

Legislative walkout

Dobis and 36 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.[2] Terri Austin, Steven Stemler and Vanessa Summers stayed behind to provide, if necessary, a motion and a seconding motion, which would enable them to stop any official business from proceeding should the Republicans try to do so.[2]

On March 7, 2011, House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer revealed the Democratic caucus' hideout to be the Comfort Suites in Urbana, Illinois.[3] According to the Indiana Constitution, Article 4, sections 11 and 14, the House may enforce fines and other methods to compel absent members to return. Beginning on March 7, 2011, each Democrat was subject to a fine of $250, to be withheld from future expense or salary payments, for each day they were not present in the statehouse.[4] Regarding their actual pay, House Speaker Brian Bosma announced that the 37 lawmakers were required to be physically present in the chambers to receive their per diem payment of $152/day.[3] This move came as a result of the approximated $40,000 in per diem payments automatically made to the legislators during their first seven days of absence. According to reports, the representatives promised to either return the money, or donate it to charity.[3]

March 22, 2011, marked the start of the fourth consecutive week of Democratic absenteeism, complete with an increased incentive to return. Governor Mitch Daniels and House Republicans upped the ante with daily fines increasing from $250/day to $350/day, effective March 21, 2011. Despite the increased penalties, Democratic resolve remained intact. House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer stated that Democrats "will remain steadfast" in their opposition to bills hurting wages and education in Indiana.[5] Rep. Winfield Moses, Jr. (D) called the increase "a poke in the eye," and promised that it would do nothing to break the impasse.[6]

The Democrats ended the standoff after 36 days, returning on March 28, 2011. The two sides agreed to compromise on a number of issues, including shelving the controversial "right-to-work" bill.[4] Although the Democrats returned with some of their demands met, their actions were not without consequence. Each absent member accrued a total of $3,500 in fines given by Republicans.[4]

The Legislature ended up passing "right-to-work" legislation on February 1, 2012, becoming the 23rd state to do so. Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signed the measure into law.[7]



See also: Indiana House of Representatives elections, 2010

Dobis defeated Republican candidate Craig Menninga by a margin of 9,656 to 6,179 in the November 2 general election.[8]

In the May 4 primary election, Dobis defeated Richard Hardaway by a margin of 3,112 to 2,312 votes.[9]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 13 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Chester Dobis (D) 9,656
Craig Menninga (R) 6,179


On November 4, 2008, Democrat Chester Dobis won re-election to the Indiana House of Representatives District 13 receiving 18,511 votes, ahead of Republican Joseph M. Hero who received 8,637 votes.[10]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 13 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Chester Dobis (D) 18,511
Joseph M. Hero (R) 8,637


On November 7, 2006, Chester Dobis won re-election to the Indiana House of Representatives District 13 unopposed.[11]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 13 (2006)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Chester Dobis (D) 9,483

Campaign donors


In 2010, Dobis collected $68,675 in donations. The top contributors are as follows:[12]

Indiana House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Chester Dobis's campaign in 2010
Build Indiana Council$4,000
Operating Engineers Local 150$4,000
Nisource Inc$3,000
Indiana Bankers Association$2,500
Indiana Association Of Realtors$2,500
Total Raised in 2010 $68,675


In 2008, Dobis collected $36,800 in donations.[13]

Listed below are those that contributed most to his campaign.

Donor Amount
AT&T $3,000
Indiana Multi-Family Housing $2,000
Indiana Beverage Alliance $2,000
Indiana Motor Truck Association $2,000
Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives $1,750
CSX Transportation $1,250
Pfizer $1,200
Nisource $1,000
Monarch Beverage $1,000
Sheet Metal Workers Local 20 $1,000
Indiana Builders Association $1,000
Zink Transportation Co. $1,000
Duke Energy $1,000
UPS $1,000
Indiana Hospital Association $1,000


In 2006, Dobis collected $32,100 in donations.[14]

Listed below are the top 5 contributors to his campaign.

Donor Amount
Operating Engineers Local 150 $5,000
AT&T $2,000
Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives $1,500
Indiana Trial Lawyers Association $1,500
USPAC- Indiana $1,000

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Indiana House of Representatives District 13
Succeeded by
Sharon Negele (R)