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IPS principal Andrea Hunley wins state Senate primary

Two women, one in a purple sweater and purple shirt and hat, and black pants, the other wearing a gray campaign T-shirt and carrying fliers, sit smiling on the porch of a home.

While canvassing, Andrea Hunley, right, encounters Terri Taylor, recognized by The Harrison Center as one of the founding members of the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.

Aleksandra Appleton / Chalkbeat

IPS Principal Andrea Hunley won a crowded primary Tuesday night to represent Indianapolis’ Senate District 46. 

Hunley, a political newcomer who serves as principal of Center for Inquiry School 2, won 44% of the vote to defeat four other Democrats. She’ll face Republican Evan Shearin in the November general election, where she’s favored to win in the newly created and heavily Democratic district. 

Hunley on Wednesday credited her win to a team of 275 volunteers who canvassed 42,000 homes in the district. She said her campaign designated neighborhood captains, who sent postcards and invitations to friends and neighbors. 

She said she believed voters appreciated her personal background and professional experience working with diverse communities, as well as her excitement in running for office.

Hunley said she planned to meet with IPS human resources soon to discuss how she’ll split time between the school and the state legislature if elected. During the primary campaign, she reduced her hours on campus, delegating duties to her assistant principal. 

“I was only allowing myself to think about this one step at a time,” Hunley said. 

She returned to the school Wednesday to wish the staff a happy Teacher Appreciation Week — and to announce the election results to her students. Around 50 current and former students volunteered for her campaign, she said. 

“I told them that whether or not their parents voted for me, they got their parents excited about voting in a primary election, and that’s wonderful,” Hunley said. “A kindergartner heard my voice and said, wow, it’s Ms. Hunley — I thought she was at the White House.”

Aleksandra Appleton covers Indiana education policy and writes about K-12 schools across the state. Contact her at aappleton@chalkbeat.org.

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