There is some unrest in the air, making this a busy primary season. The Lafayette Journal & Courier has a list of people who will be on local ballots.
Don Bates, Jr., Richard Behney, Dan Coats, John N. Hostettler, Marlin A. Stutzman
Coats is a former Hoosier, lobbyist, and very retro – I don’t think he captures the mood of the Republicans. Behney has come off as a blowhard, talking about playing with his guns if he doesn’t get his way. Hostettler is a wingnut. I don’t know much of anything about Bates. Stutzman has been a state legislator, giving him a veneer of respectability, who has a reputation as very conservative, which will play well in the primary.
D: Peter J. Visclosky*, Woody Wilcox
R: Adam A. Dombkowski, Ric Holtz, Mark Leyva, Peter Lindemulder III, Eric L. Olson, Robert Pastore, Michael Petyo, Jayson Reeves
Visclosky has some ethics issues dogging him, but, so far as I know, it’s just investigatory at this point. He has to be regarded as a heavy favorite at this point.
D: Joe Donnelly*
R: Martin A. Dolan, Jack Edward Jordan, Jackie Walorski, Tony Zirkle
Any primary fight that involves Wacky Jackie battling with a disbarred (pdf) Illinois Nazi supporter should be one to watch. I don’t know anything about Dolan and Jordan – they might be credible challengers.
D: Tara E. Nelson, Mark Powell, David Sanders
R: Jon Acton, Cheryl Denise Allen, Mike Campbell, Daniel L. Dunham, James T. (Jim) Hass, Brandt Hershman, LaRon Keith, Todd Rokita, Mark Seitz, Ed Soliday, Phillip J. (PJ) Steffen, Phil J. Thorpe, Eric L. Wathen, R. Michael Young
David Sanders is a Purdue professor and a great guy, but has not, historically, been able to raise the kind of funds necessary to compete against Steve Buyer in this district. He threw his hat in the ring when nobody else was going to, which is good because it would have been a shame if Rep. Buyer had gone completely unchallenged in the wake of his Frontier Foundation shenanigans. Off hand, I don’t know anything about Mark Powell or Tara Nelson who will compete with him in the primary. The real action, at this point, is in the Republican primary. IN-04 is a heavily Republican district and would-be Congressmen came out of the woodwork when Buyer announced he was stepping down. Right now, I’d probably give Hershman and Rokita the edge in this crowded field. Rokita because he has name recognition, and Hershman because the Fourth is his turf probably more than the others, as a state Senator from the Lafayette area and as someone very involved in Buyer’s campaigns. I’m not sure how well the Indianapolis types will fare in this sprawling district.
D: Brad Ellsworth*, W. Trent Van Haaften
R: Bud Bernitt, Larry D. Bucshon, Billy J. Mahoney, Kristi Risk, John Lee Smith, John K. Snyder, Dan Stockton, Steve Westell
This one is interesting because Ellsworth is probably going to take a stab at the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh which would leave Van Haaften as the Democratic candidate. Trent is a state representative who has been known to read and even comment on this blog from time to time which automatically makes him a man of discerning tastes. I am not immediately familiar with the Republican candidates.
There are also plenty of state and local races. I won’t comment on the local races because I live and work here and don’t like crapping in my nest, so to speak. But one item of interest, I see that for Indiana House District 15, currently occupied by Don Lehe, there is someone on the Democratic ballot going by the name of, and I quote, “John (The Man) Malan.”