INDIANAPOLIS – We’re less than a month away from Indiana’s May primaries. It’s a crowded Republican field for the 9th congressional district, and IN Focus is your local election headquarters to find out more from the candidates.
Several of the nine Republicans have sat down with IN Focus to share their thoughts on the issues facing Capitol Hill. They’re all looking to replace outgoing Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN-9), who is not seeking re-election.
Republican candidate Erin Houchin says she resigned from her position in the State Senate to focus entirely on the campaign. She was previously defeated by Rep. Hollingswoth in the 2016 Republican primary. Using that experience, Houchin says she can be a productive voice for the constituents of the 9th district. She promised to push back on what she views as radical ideas from congressional Democrats.
I think now more than ever, we need a conservative fighter pushing back against the administration and the policies of the far left,” Houchin said. “It’s what I hear when I travel the district. People care about border security, they care about inflation, they care about supporting our police.”
We also spoke with former congressman Mike Sodrel (R), who’s running for the seat he once held. Sodrel is looking to use his experience to separate himself from the massive list of Republicans. As the country becomes more divided, Sodrel says his style of decision-making can help work past partisan differences.
“The people that serve there are representatives of the districts that sent them,” Sodrel said. “We are divided as a people, so it’s very difficult… to come together when the people are this divided. But we can work at it, we need to.”
Candidate Stu Barnes-Israel (R) is also giving his thoughts and hoping his previous combat experience will connect with voters. He says that despite his lack of formal political experience, he will deliver “real solutions” for Hoosier families in the 9th district.
“I think the Republican party needs to be accepting of multiple points of view,” Barnes-Israel said. “We need to bring more people into our party. We’re seeing that now because of the failed policies of Joe Biden’s administration.”
Also running for the first time is candidate Jim Baker (R). He believes his career in business can help with bridging the divides in Congress.
“I’ve been a dealmaker for over 40 years, bringing opposing parties together,” Baker said. “Candidates with more experience in public office are at a disadvantage. I’m at an advantage because I’m not a politician.”
Watch more from the candidates for the 9th congressional district in the video above.