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.
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
(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.
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.
who is a better candidate is up to the people. Vote June 2.
(5) What are the
key issues in the race? (150 words)
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
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)
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.
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