SOUTH BEND, Ind.
(AP) - Voter dissatisfaction with Congress didn’t stop Indiana’s nine
members of the U.S. House from breezing to victories Tuesday in the state’s
said they were unhappy with the job Congress was doing, three of the nine
incumbents - Reps. Pete Visclosky, Jackie Walorski and Luke Messer - didn’t
face primary challenges, and none of the remaining six faced serious threats
Stutzman, who easily defeated two Republican challengers in northeast
Indiana and is expected to be heavily favored this fall, said he understands
why voters are upset.
“When you look at
Congress as a whole and the policies that have come out of Washington, it’s
very easy for all of us to say that Congress is not getting the job done. I
would be in that group as well,” he said. “We need people in Washington who
are going to understand that a balanced budget is important. That getting
debt under control is important.”
Rep. Larry Bucshon,
who easily defeated conservative Andrew McNeil in southwestern Indiana’s 8th
District, said he thinks people are frustrated that the House and Senate are
controlled by different parties and can’t agree on issues.
“But I think they
recognize their individual members are doing the best they can to represent
their districts,” said Bucshon, who will face Democrat Tom Spangler, a
Jasper businessman, in November.
congressional primaries were a much quieter affair than the last two
elections, which each featured only three open seats. All the incumbents
will likely be favored in the fall, although Andrew Downs, director of the
Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue
University Fort Wayne, said Democrats’ best chance might be in the 2nd
District. Walorski won that seat two years ago with 49 percent of the vote
after Democrat Joe Donnelly ran for Senate.
Indiana district has long been viewed as a swing district, Downs said. But
it has leaned more Republican since congressional maps were redrawn.
Walorski will be
challenged by University of Notre Dame faculty member Joe Bock, who defeated
three other Democrats. Bock was director of global health training at Notre
Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health until he announced his candidacy.
Bock is hoping to
take advantage of people’s unhappiness with Congress in the fall.
“To be successful
in this endeavor requires somebody who is able to solve problems. I’ve
worked on crises all over the world. This is one of the worst crises right
now in the world, the U.S. House of Representatives.”
But freshman GOP
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, who beat two challengers in the 5th District in
central Indiana, said she doesn’t believe voters are as upset at Congress as
many say, at least not the House.
“I can’t tell you
how many people came up to me and indicated how unhappy they are with the
Senate. So when people are saying they’re unhappy with Congress, at least
the voters that turned out today, it wasn’t unhappiness with the House,”
said Brooks, who will run this fall against Democrat Shawn Denney, a history
teacher at Indiana Connections Academy.
Reps. Todd Rokita in the 4th, and Todd Young in the 7th won easily, as did
Democratic Rep. Andre Carson in the 7th, all of whom are expected to be
heavily favored in the fall. Rokita will be challenged by Western Boone High
School teacher John Dale; Young will face Democrat Bill Bailey, a former
mayor of Seymour and state representative; will campaign against Catherine
Ping, a retired Army Reserve officer who owns a small computer technology
incumbents who ran unopposed in the primary, Messer will be challenged this
fall by Susan Heitzman of North Vernon, a retired teacher and Visclosky will
face Republican Mark Leyva of Highland for the sixth time.
If they win in
November, they’ll still face voters unhappy with Washington gridlock.
Bruce Jones, 51, a
stock broker from South Bend, said his displeasure with Congress is a reason
he votes, even in quiet years like this one.
“I want the person
who best represents us in Congress, and somehow I never seem to get that,”