Indiana Republicans push on recruitment, outreach
By PETE SEAT
South Bend Tribune
July 1, 2012
Indiana has long had a reddish hue to its politics. Over the past eight years, that red has grown ever brighter as a new crop of Republican candidates and elected officials have come to the forefront, demanding better, smaller and more efficient government for their fellow Hoosiers.
Call it a new era, or perhaps more appropriately passing the Hoosier torch, but every Republican-held congressional seat will have changed hands since Gov. Mitch Daniels took office come next year. That means the so-called dean of Indiana’s Republican House delegation — the individual with the most seniority — will be the youngest member, Marlin Stutzman, who was first elected at a 2010 caucus.
He was joined later that year by freshmen members Todd Rokita, a former secretary of state, Larry Bucshon, a heart surgeon and Todd Young, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Marine.
This year, Hoosiers are poised to add Luke Messer, a former state representative, and two women — Jackie Walorski and Susan Brooks — to our U.S. House delegation. Walorski and Brooks would be the first women to represent Indiana in Washington since Democrat Julia Carson passed away in 2007.
None of them waltzed to their respective nominations easily. In fact, we’ve learned that primaries can be healthy in Indiana, forcing candidates to hone their message and earn the right to square off in the general election.
Indiana Democrats, on the other hand, like to crow about their lack of competitive primaries, claiming it gives them the upper hand in raising money and rallying support for the general. They contend Republicans only come out of primaries divided and unable to effectively join forces.
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