State Rep. Dave Wolkins literally cruised to victory Tuesday night for his 16th win in the District 18 race.

The longtime Winona Lake resident, who now resides in Warsaw, topped Democrat Dee Moore in a rematch from 2016.

Wolkins, who campaigned extensively in the primary in a victory against fellow Republican Russ Reahard, admitted he did not work as hard in recent months and still won 76 percent of the vote Tuesday night.





The district includes parts of Kosciusko and Wabash counties and a few precincts in Grant and Miami counties.

In 2016, Wolkins collected about 72 percent of the vote against Moore districtwide.

In Kosciusko County on Tuesday, Wolkins won nearly 79 percent of the vote.

Wolkins said he thought Moore ran a good campaign in Wabash County, but said he did not feel the need to work as hard as he did in the primary.

He attended functions, but did very little advertising.

“I’ll be honest, I did very little in the fall,” Wolkins said Tuesday night at GOP headquarters in Warsaw. “I figured after 30 years, people know what they’re getting.”

Wolkins said he felt confident that Moore, an outspoken progressive who runs a family farm with her husband in southeastern Kosciusko County, was not the local voters’ cup of tea.

Moore, who opposes school vouchers and believes health care is a right, thanked her supporters on Facebook with a post that surfaced 90 minutes after polls closed Tuesday and reiterated her support for a long list of liberal beliefs.

Districtwide, Wolkins received 16,942 votes compared to 5,322 votes for Moore. That 11,000 vote margin suggests her own party rejected her, Wolkins said.

“I’m very pleased that the voters of the 18th District decided to go with less government than more government,” Wolkins said.

He said he appreciated the support of voters.

After 30 years of work in the General Assembly, Wolkins, 75, said he still has a strong desire to legislate.

In past years, Wolkins said he’s normally authored about two bills a year, but said he plans to be more aggressive about several issues in the upcoming General Assembly.

One of those issues will be teacher pay. He said he thinks teachers are on the verge of striking in Indiana, similar to what they have done in recent years in other states.

He said he plans to support an increase in teacher pay.