Chesterton Tribune



State Rep. Ed Soliday faces primary challenge from Republican Sara Blohm

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In the primary election on Tuesday, June 2, incumbent State Rep. Ed Soliday will defend his 4th District Seat in the Indiana House against a challenge from fellow Republican Sara Blohm.

The Chesterton Tribune invited both to participate in a candidate questionnaire. The Tribune set word limits and reserved the right to edit for length.

(1) For Soliday: Age, place of residence, occupation, terms in office. 75; Valparaiso; aviation consultant; seven terms.

For Blohm: Age, place of residence, occupation. 40; Liberty Township; small business owner, caregiver, and substitute teacher.

(2) For Soliday: Why are you seeking re-election to the 4th District seat in the Indiana House? (75 words) (a) I am running for re-election to continue to bring a strong, influential voice for the people of Northwest Indiana as well as District 4 to the Indiana Legislature. (b) There are critical policy issues in energy and infrastructure that I feel can be served by my experience and relationships inside and outside of government.

For Blohm: Why are you seeking election to the 4th District seat in the Indiana House? (75 words) I am seeking election to the 4th District because the people in the 4th District have been ignored. Representatives are supposed to represent the people. Period. Not their own agenda or special interest groups.

(3) For Soliday: Describe your achievements in office (100 words). (a) Authored landmark Little Calumet River flood prevention legislation. (b) Authored re-write of the entire Bureau of Motor Vehicle Code. (c) Authored major road and bridge planning and funding legislation. (d) Authored major finance and restructuring RDA legislation. (e) Created the Community Crossings grant program funding local road and bridge projects. (f) Named Indiana Chamber of Commerce “Outstanding Government Leader 2017.” (g) Only legislator named twice as “Legislator of the Year” by AIM (Cities and Towns). (h). Recipient of the “Virgil (Gus) Grissom Trophy” from the Association of Consulting Engineers. (i) Twice named “Farm Bureau Legislator or the Year.”

For Blohm: Describe your qualifications for office (100). I am qualified because I am a citizen of the United States, I am at least 21 years old, and I have lived in Indiana for two years and my district for one.

(4) Differentiate yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe yourself to be a better candidate (100 words)

Soliday: (a) I have years of successful leadership experience in the business, not-for-profit, and government communities. (b) I am supportive of the Governor’s measured approach responding to the pandemic; she is not. (c) I have a track record of bringing people of divergent viewpoints together to solve difficult problems.

Blohm: Deciding who is a better candidate is up to the people. Vote June 2.

(5) What are the key issues in the race? (150 words)

Soliday: (a) Demonstrated collaborative, conservative leadership, versus inexperienced emphasis on ideology. (b) Experience and understanding of how to make government work for the people versus inexperience. (c) Recognizing that the legislature faces many complex issues: budgeting for a large organization, education policy, energy and environmental issues as well as social issues. (d) Measured approach to managing the pandemic.

Blohm: The key issues in my race are to protect and defend our ConstitutionsÑboth Indiana and the United States. Protect and defend our Second Amendment. Protect and defend non-custodial parents and fathers’ rights.

(6) How comfortable are you with Gov. Holcomb’s phased-in plan to re-open the economy? (75 words)

Soliday: I am very comfortable with Gov. Holcomb’s phased-in plan to re-open Indiana’s economy. His plan is the result of careful collaboration with medical, business, and government leaders to include input from county and city officials. It is balanced and data driven in its response to both the physical and economic health of Hoosiers, yet provides the ability to adjust to changing circumstances.

Blohm: I did not agree with Indiana being shut-down in the first place. Deeming one person essential over another is wrong. We are all essential. Closing small business while allowing big business to remain open is wrong. Closing churches is wrong. This isn't political, this is common-sense. Give the power to the people to make their own decisions about their safety. Government overreach is never okay.

(7) On what single issue do you believe bipartisanship to be vital to the future of the State of Indiana? (75 words)

Soliday: We should always strive for bipartisan cooperation and collaboration in creating legislation. This year working together will be key in dealing with the direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic, particularly unemployment, K-12 education, and the state budget. All have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Our state constitution requires a balanced budget. Achieving ownership in solutions to difficult problems is critical in difficult times such as we are all experiencing.

Blohm: Education: education should not be political. Education is not one side versus the other and it is absolutely not one-size-fits-all. Once again, another “political” hot button where children are the ones damaged by the very people who say they care about them the most. Stop using children as pawns.



Posted 4/26/2020




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