Nancy Dembowski

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Nancy Dembowski
Nancy Dembowski.jpg
Indiana House of Representatives
District 17
Former Member
In office
2006 - 2012
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionRetired, WKVI Radio
Office website
Nancy Dembowski is a former Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing District 17 from 2006 to 2012. She previously served as Assistant Majority Caucus Chair.

Dembowski is retired. She worked at WKVI Radio in Knox, Indiana.

Dembowski served in the Indiana State Senate from 2002-2004, was Mayor of Knox from 1991-2002, and member of the Starke County Council from 1984-1991.

She is a member of Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, President of Starke County Junior Achievement, Secretary of Starke County Youth Club, Chair of Starke United, and member of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.[1]

Committee assignments


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


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

Legislative walkout

Dembowski 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

Dembowski defeated Republican candidate Francis Ellert and Libertarian candidate Richard Liedtky with 8,891 votes; Ellert received 8,621 votes and Liedtky received 705 votes in the November 2 general election.[8]

In the May 4 primary election, Dembowski ran unopposed and received 2,708 votes.[9]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 17 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Nancy Dembowski (D) 8,891
Francis Ellert (R) 8,621
Richard Liedtky (L) 705

Dembowski was unopposed in the May 4th primary election.


On November 4, 2008, Democrat Nancy Dembowski won re-election to the Indiana House of Representatives District 17 receiving 14,045 votes, ahead of Republican Mark MacKillop who received 10,017 votes.[10]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 17 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Nancy Dembowski (D) 14,045
Mark MacKillop (R) 10,017


On November 7, 2006, Nancy Dembowski won election to the Indiana House of Representatives District 17.[11]

Indiana House of Representatives, District 17 (2006)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Nancy Dembowski (D) 9,780
Steve Heim (R) 8,938

Campaign donors


In 2010, Dembowski collected $370,760 in donations. The top contributors are as follows:[12]


In 2008, Dembowski collected $183,685 in donations.[13]

Listed below are those that contributed most to her campaign.

Donor Amount
Indiana Democratic Party $98,441
Indiana State Teachers Association $19,000
Indiana House Democratic Caucus $10,920
American Federation of Teachers $5,000
ISTA Northern Lakes Pac Account $5,000
Northern Lakes Pac $3,000
American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees $2,500
Indiana Trial Lawyers Association $2,300
Russ Stilwell for State Representative $2,000
Blue River Pac $1,500
1 H Northwest Pace $1,500
Dunes Shore Pace $1,500
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 4 $1,500
Indiana-Kentucky Regional Council of Carpenters $1,000
Indiana State Conference of Electrical Workers $1,000
Circle Northeast Pac $1,000
AT&T $1,000
Uni-Pac $1,000
Adams-Wells-Allen $1,000
Indiana Beverage Alliance $1,000


In 2006, Dembowski collected $426,802 in donations.[14]

Listed below are the top five contributors to her campaign.

Donor Amount
Indiana House Democratic Caucus $152,266
Indiana State Teachers Association $100,000
Indiana Democratic Party $81,314
American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees $20,000
Pat Bauer $10,000

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Political offices
Preceded by
Indiana House of Representatives District 17
Succeeded by
Timothy Harman (R)