INDIANAPOLIS — Jack Sandlin, a Republican member of the Indiana Senate representing District 36 since 2016, has died.

He was 72 years old, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Marion County Republican Party Chairman Joe Elsener released the following statement Wednesday night confirming Sandlin’s passing.

“We are incredibly sorry to hear of the passing of Senator Jack Sandlin,” Elsener wrote. “Jack lived a life in service to his community from his time on the police force, through his tenure as a city-county councilor, and finally as a state senator representing the Southside.”

Representing the south side of Indianapolis as a state senator since being elected in 2016, Sandlin was a well-known figure in the community.

After serving as a police officer in Indianapolis and Southport for over 30 years, Sandlin became a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council for the 24th district in 2010. He remained in the position until being elected to the State Senate 6 years later.

From 2016 onward, Sandlin served as a Senate member representing the southern part of Marion County as well as northern Johnson County. Throughout his Senate tenure, Sandlin served on various committees including:

  • the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee,
  • the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee,
  • the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee,
  • the Veterans Affairs and the Military Committee,
  • the Homeland Security and Transportation Committee and
  • the Senate Public Police Committee

Elsener said that Sandlin and his various contributions to the Hoosier community will be missed.

“[Jack’s] voice and impact on our city will certainly be missed,” his statement concluded. “Our prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones during this time.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb also acknowledged Sandlin’s contributions as a public servant in a statement sent to FOX59/CBS4 Wednesday night.

“Indiana lost a true public servant today. Senator Jack Sandlin was a gentleman who devoted his life to serving others, in public safety, on the front lines and in our State Senate,” Gov. Holcomb said. “His clear voice and integrity will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all those who became close to him over the years.”

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) released the following statement:

“Sen. Jack Sandlin was a dedicated public servant who stood by his convictions and worked to advance Hoosiers and the state of Indiana. I send my sincerest sympathies to his loved ones during this difficult time. There are no words that can ease their pain, but I hope the knowledge that Sen. Sandlin devoted the last 13 years of his life to making a difference in his community and throughout the state – in both the City-County Council of Indianapolis and later in the Indiana State Senate – is a reminder of his leadership and legacy.”

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush also released a statement, noting that Sandlin worked with the Indiana Supreme Court on important justice initiatives:

“Senator Jack Sandlin served as a valuable partner to the justice system. He used his wealth of experience to connect legislative, executive, and judicial stakeholders in an immensely important endeavor—developing solutions to mental health and justice needs. He devoted significant time to join our judicial branch leaders at training and outreach events dedicated to behavioral health and justice. His passing is a tremendous loss to our state, but we are grateful for the years we had to partner with Senator Sandlin. Our condolences to his legislative staff and his family.”

The City-County Council Republican Caucus–which includes Minority Leader Brian Mowery, Michael-Paul Hart, Josh Bain, Paul Annee and Mike Dilk–also reacted to Sandlin’s passing:

“Senator Sandlin and his whole family are in our prayers. Jack loved our capital city and devoted a good portion of his life to serving it. While we will miss everything about Jack, especially his infectious smile and his desire to make our community better, we will take comfort in knowing that Jack made this world a better place, and we are better for having worked with him. Please join us in praying for Lydia and their entire family.”

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch called Sandlin’s contributions to Indiana “immeasurable”:

“Senator Jack Sandlin committed his life to serving others. The impact he had on the state of Indiana as a public safety officer and public servant is immeasurable. As President of the Senate, it was an honor to serve alongside him these past seven years, and my heart goes out to his wife, daughter and grandchildren. His family will be in my prayers.”