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Indiana Republican Primary “Endorsements”

It is a rather slow year for electoral interest in Indiana. Republicans hold 8 of their 9 House seats and with no gubernatorial or Senate races this year, that is where the interest will be.

3rd District- Incumbent Marlin Stutzman will face two challengers in the primary. Located in the northeastern corner of Indiana, this is perhaps the most Republican of the Indiana districts. Mark Barringer is a basic unknown while his other challenger, Jim Mahoney sounds like a populist Democrat at times. Most worrisome for this writer is his veiled talk about environmental stewardship and being a world leader. Sounds too much like global warming nonsense to me. The incumbent may not be the most conservative member of the House, but given the options here, this writer supports the reelection of Marlin Stutzman.

4th District- This is an easy one. Once again, incumbent Todd Rokita may not be the most conservative member of the House, but he is a definite upgrade over his unknown challenger, Kevin Grant. Therefore, there is no need to switch anyone here and this writer endorses Todd Rokita.

5th District- Susan Brooks represents the 5th District which comprises the eastern suburbs of Indianapolis. A relatively safe GOP area, she will take on perennial candidate Mike Campbell and David Stockdale. Campbell is old news while Stockdale could be a poster boy candidate for the Libertarian Party instead of the GOP. Brooks is considered a moderate, but she is likely the best Republican fit for this district. Therefore, I endorse the reelection of Susan Brooks in the Fifth District.

7th District- Winning the Indianapolis-based 7th District from Democrat Andre Carson will be difficult, but it is attainable. For my money, an intriguing choice would be Catherine Ping. It is worth a try and takes the “war on women” meme away from the Democrats.  Anything would be an upgrade over Carson and there is little downside to running Ping in a race most believe is out of touch for the GOP.

8th District- Located in the southwestern corner of Indiana, the 8th is based in Terre Haute and Evansville. Buschon is best described as an ideological moderate within the Indiana GOP and Congress. The Democrats are fielding Tom Spangler, himself a moderate within the Democratic Party. In fact, moderation seems to define this district. Before Buschon, it was represented by a Democrat. That being said, the district may not be ready for Buschon’s primary opponent- Andrew McNeil, a Tea Party activist in the area. Given the “swingish” nature of the district and the fact the Democrats are running a fairly conservative (for them) candidate, the risk is not worth it. Therefore, this writer supports Larry Buschon.

9th District- In the 9th, moderate Republican incumbent Todd Young originally faced only little known Mark Jones in a primary match-up. On the last day to file, he gained two more opponents. Kathy Heil has been active in Indiana politics and this district, but as an activist for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. The other last minute opponent is Tea Party activist Trent Fueurbach. Hence, we have basically all factions of the GOP running against one another in a single district. There are also four Democrats vying for this spot. Young has won his past two elections here by 10 and 11 points respectively. Again, working under the theory to leave well enough alone given the possible risks, one is almost compelled to support Todd Young for reelection in 2014.

{NOTE:  These are “endorsements,” not predictions.}

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