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Rokita wins in Indiana's GOP-heavy 4th District

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Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita won a crowded Republican primary race Tuesday night to become the likely replacement for retiring Republican Rep. Steve Buyer.

Rokita's victory came as Republican Rep. Mark Souder won his party's nomination for a ninth term after a nasty campaign in northeastern Indiana's 3rd District and fellow GOP Rep. Dan Burton squeaked by in the 5th District.

The race for Buyer's seat became a three-month sprint among 13 candidates after he announced in late January that he would retire after 18 years in Congress because his wife had been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease.

Rokita defeated state Sen. Brandt Hershman, who is Buyer's district director and was endorsed by the congressman. Rokita had better name recognition going into the campaign as the winner of two statewide campaigns for secretary of state.

The district, which stretches from the Lafayette area through the western and southern suburbs of Indianapolis, is heavily Republican. Buyer typically won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

The winner of the Democratic nomination Tuesday was Purdue University biology professor David Sanders, who lost badly to Buyer in 2004 and 2006.

Souder, an eight-term congressman, defeated car dealer Bob Thomas, who spent much of his own money on television commercials portraying Souder as a career politician who wasn't a true fiscal conservative. Souder countered by emphasizing his A-plus marks from the National Rifle Association and 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

Souder will face Democrat Tom Hayhurst, a former Fort Wayne city councilman who gave Souder a stiff challenge in 2006, in November.

Burton faced several challengers as he sought the Republican nomination for a 15th term in the 5th District, which stretches from suburban Indianapolis north into several rural counties.

Democratic Rep. Baron Hill won his party's nomination in the 9th District, where former Republican Rep. Mike Sodrel was trailing in his bid to again take on Hill.

Sodrel and Hill have faced each other in each congressional election since 2002. Sodrel won the seat in 2004, but Hill recaptured it two years later and won the 2008 election with nearly 58 percent of the vote.

Democratic Rep. Andre Carson easily defeated three challengers in the 7th District, where he is seeking his second full term to the seat once held by his late grandmother, Julia Carson. The district covers most of Indianapolis and is heavily Democratic. Barack Obama won 71 percent of the district's vote in 2008.

Carson will face Butler University professor Marvin Scott, who won the Republican race Tuesday.

State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Elkhart won the Republican nomination to face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, setting up a potentially bruising campaign for northern Indiana's 2nd District seat in November.

Republican Rep. Mike Pence will have a rematch this fall against the Democratic candidate he's easily beaten the past two elections. Barry Welsh, a United Methodist minister from Connersville, won the Democratic primary Tuesday.

Pence, the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House, is seeking his sixth term from Indiana's 6th District. He defeated Welsh in 2008 with 64 percent of the vote.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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