IBJNews

Indiana congressional delegation to get makeover

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Jackie Walorski and Susan Brooks are seeking to become the first Republican congresswomen from Indiana in half a century as the GOP seeks to retain the advantage it holds in the state's congressional delegation.

For the second straight election, Indiana has three open seats, following the retirement of 30-year U.S. Rep. Dan Burton in the 5th District and decisions by Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Joe Donnelly to seek other office. Until 2010, the state had gone nearly five decades with no more than two U.S. House seats open at the same time.

Walorski, who narrowly lost the 2nd District race to Donnelly two years ago, hopes the second time's the charm in the district that state lawmakers redrew to include more Republicans. The former state representative faces Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen.

Brooks, a former U.S. attorney, is running against state Rep. Scott Reske for Burton's seat in central Indiana. If Walorski or Brooks wins, they would be the first female Republicans from Indiana in Congress since Cecil Harden lost her re-election bid in 1958 after five terms.

Democrats are also fielding two women to challenge incumbents: Tara Nelson is running against Rep. Todd Rokita in the 4th District, and Shelli Yoder faces Todd Young in the 9th District.

Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jill Long Thompson, who held the seat in northeast Indiana from 1989 until losing to Republican Mark Souder in 1994, said neither party is doing enough to recruit women for lower-level offices that would prepare them to run for Congress.

"There has to be a genuine concerted effort toward recruiting and training and working with younger candidates to get them prepared to run for office," she said. "That simply hasn't happened to any great degree in our state, and there are literally thousands of very talented women across the state whose leadership and input could be very valuable."

Indiana has had four Democratic congresswomen, most recently Julia Carson, who held the office 11 years until her death in 2007. Her grandson, Democrat Andre Carson, is heavily favored to win a third term over Republican Carlos May in the 7th District seat Julia Carson formerly held.

Long Thompson said she is always pleased to see women running for office, regardless of party affiliation.

"The more that women run for office, the more talent and brain power we bring to the table," she said. "When we exclude an entire group of our population from decision-making, we're not bringing all our resources to the table to address the challenges we face as a country."

One of the more closely watched races involves incumbent Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon, who faces a strong challenge from former Democratic state Rep. Dave Crooks in the southwestern Indiana congressional district known as the "Bloody 8th" for its history of contentious races. The seat has changed hands three times since 1995.

Bucshon first won the seat in the Republican-leaning district in 2010 when incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth vacated it to run for Senate. But Bucshon became more vulnerable this year after Republican state lawmakers redrew congressional lines and included more Democrats in the district.

Republicans were expected to keep a strong edge in the nine-member delegation. Former Republican state Rep. Luke Messer is favored over Democratic Delaware County Council member Bradley Bookout for Pence's seat, and three freshman Republicans — Reps. Marlin Stutzman, Todd Young and Todd Rokita — all were heavily favored to win re-election.

Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky is heavily favored to win a 15th term against political newcomer Joel Phelps. If he wins, Visclosky would replace Burton as the senior member of Indiana's congressional delegation.

Despite the open seats, Brian Vargus, a longtime political science professor, said this year's Indiana congressional races have been largely silent, with the exception of the races involving Walorski and Bucshon. Most attention has been paid to the Senate, gubernatorial and presidential races.

"The congressional races did not generate, in many parts of the state, much excitement," he said. "The Senate race, especially, sucked all the wind out of all the rest of the campaigns. Nobody is paying attention."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT