By Taylor Brown
This story is part of a series of Q&As with newly–elected members of the Indiana General Assembly. Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Meet Sen. Blake Doriot
Occupation: Land Surveyor
Hometown: New Paris
INDIANAPOLIS — For Sen. Blake Doriot, R-Goshen, it is not uncommon for people to mispronounce his name. Doriot joked that his name is pronounced that his name is correctly pronounced like the Oreo cookie.
After a few legislators talked to him, including previous senator of his district, Carlin Yoder, he decided to run for the Senate. Doriot, new to politics, has been a land surveyor for more than 20 years. He is a husband, a father to four and a grandfather to four. He also built his own “pretty cool log house” featuring 22-foot gable ceilings and wood trusses.
Q: What are your main goals for this session?
Sen. Blake Doriot, R-Goshen, listens as a fellow Senator attempts to amend a bill. Doriot hopes to bring a voice to Northern Indiana that he feels normally gets lost in the heart of Indianapolis. Photo by Taylor Brown, TheStatehouseFile.com
A: My main goal for this session is to help establish a sustainable budget for the highway for the Department of Transportation for the roads. I have the CBD oil (cannabidiol) for epilepsy bill that I’m on with Sen. Tomes. And there’s been a bill up in Elkhart County regarding RV sales tax inconsistencies with other states. we’ve been working on that for I think I know of five legislators that have tried this. It’s our local chamber of commerce’s one of their number one items because we’ve lost eight of 12 RV dealers. Approximately eight of twelve RV dealers in the county. And we want to get that fixed and it will help all the counties in the state. I mean there’s dealers all over the state so.
Q: What motivated you to run for office?
A: Can I say I was harangued by Carlin Yoder? (laughs)
I had been in the county surveyor office for 24 years and it was time to move on. At that point I was approached by Sen. Yoder that he was going to retire and he wanted me to consider running for the position because he thought that I could keep up the voice of Northern Indiana. Because we’re so far away from Indianapolis in the donut counties that we don’t always get heard. I was approached by two or three representatives and I got a call from David Long one night saying that I should consider and at that I talked to my wife and she said yeah. Well, she begrudgingly said yeah that would be the best thing for our family and kids and grandkids. But she’s the one that losing, I mean she’s got to be home alone.
Q: What are some of the biggest issues in your district that you would like to address this session?
A: Well road funding like I said. The RV issue. Overregulation. We’ve got, my district has one of the largest farm productions one of the largest manufacturing productions and there are regulations that are overlapping and becoming cumbersome and unnecessary.
Taylor Brown is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.