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CORYDON – Harris Lloyd “Tad” Whitis, a resident of Harrison County, has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for State Senate District 47, which includes the eastern half of Dubois County, and all of Crawford, Harrison, Orange, Perry, and Washington counties.
The seat is now held by Democrat Richard Young.
Whitis served as judge of the Harrison Circuit Court from 1999 through 2010, where he computerized the court and its offices, initiated a truancy program, alternative school, and court appointed special advocate program.
“My experience as a retired circuit court judge and former prosecuting attorney has taught me the importance of gathering all the information, weighing all the facts, listening to all sides of an issue and making fair and informed decisions,” Whitis said. “I believe that experience uniquely qualifies me to represent the good people of Senate District 47 in the Indiana General Assembly. I am committed to representing the district in a fair, bipartisan manner and making the best decisions that will be most beneficial to all.”
Whitis served as the prosecuting attorney for the Harrison-Crawford joint circuit from 1975 through 1982 and was a director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.
As president of the Harrison-Crawford Bar Association, Whitis initiated the effort to sever the joint circuit, leading to the creation of the Crawford Circuit Court and the Crawford County prosecutor’s office, retention of the Harrison Circuit Court and Harrison County prosecutor’s office, and creation of the Harrison County Court, predecessor to the Harrison Superior Court.
Tad is married to the former Sally Harbaugh and they have two children. Christopher is a landscape architect living with his wife Jackie and two children, Liam and Eliza, in Nashville, Tenn., and Sarah Dougherty, marketing director at Harrison County Hospital, lives with her husband Ian and two children, Ella and Hallie, in Corydon.
Tad’s mother, Catherine Whitis, retired from teaching the second grade at Elizabeth Grade School and celebrated her 93rd birthday Aug. 5.
Whitis graduated from Elizabeth Grade School, South Central High School, Indiana University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. He was admitted to practice law in 1971 and subsequently opened his office in Corydon. In 2006, Whitis graduated from the Indiana Judicial College.
Whitis is or has been a member of the Harrison County Cattlemen’s Association, Indiana Simmental Association, Harrison County Farm Bureau, Corydon Optimist Club, Leadership Harrison County, Indiana Supreme Court Ethics Committee, Indiana Supreme Court Community Relations Committee, Harrison-Crawford Bar Association, Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and Indiana Judges Association.
Whitis has also served as a director of the Harrison County Community Foundation for 10 years and was named a servant leader by Leadership Harrison County in 2009.