From the moment he ran for State Representative in 2002, to his recent service in the Indiana State Senate, Marlin Stutzman has been a breath of fresh air. He has a reputation of being approachable and reasonable yet decisive and grounded. With a thorough knowledge of business, economics, agriculture and lawmaking, he is a decisive leader who serves from the heart.
In high school and after graduation, Marlin points to several experiences that changed his life and his appreciation for his country. Those experiences were mission trips. In his travels to Haiti, Guatemala, Russia and Mexico, Marlin realized at an early age how blessed he was to be an American. After marriage, another experience influenced him further, and spurred him to action because of his love for his country.
In August of 2001, Marlin and Christy Stutzman welcomed their first child with the same expectations, hopes and dreams shared by most young American parents. As a fourth generation family farmer, Marlin had been co-owner of Stutzman Farms with his father since he was 17 years old. At the age of 18, he faced the decision as the oldest son in the family, to either help build the family farming operation into a larger business, or to attend college full time. He chose to continue expanding the farm, and attend college part-time. Today he is co-owner of a multi-million dollar business, and has the knowledge of building a business from the ground up, with the benefit of having studied business and accounting. In 2002 the Stutzmans owned a small trucking company as well, and Christy, who had studied opera with several prominent operatic singers, was a music teacher in a local school. However, three weeks after the Stutzmans welcomed their first child, America was attacked by terrorists on September 11th.
The events of that terrible day made Marlin Stutzman take action. As Marlin put it, “What good is building a business for the future, if you don’t even have a country to pass on to your children?” He and Christy became active in their local Republican Party. They started becoming more active in their community, trying to make a difference in any way that they could.
Believing that the majority of voters in his district were not being accurately represented at the State House, and feeling that state government was too big, too far in debt, and too un-accountable to the people of Indiana, Marlin decided to run for State Representative in District 52. He faced a three-way Primary battle, and won with a two-to-one margin over his opponents. He went on to run a positive campaign against a popular incumbent, focusing on issues such as cutting wasteful government spending, cutting taxes, safeguarding our schools and stimulating Indiana’s economy. With a strong grassroots base of support and much hard work, Stutzman won a huge victory over a well-funded, ten-year incumbent, surprising political pundits all across the state with his win.
He went on to serve with distinction for three terms in the Indiana House of Representatives. He was part of the Republican leadership team, serving as Assistant Majority Whip and Chairman of the Public Policy Committee, helping to guide the direction of policy and legislation at the State House. He was elected to the State Senate in 2008 for District 13. His track record is further proof that Marlin Stutzman is authentic – the real deal! He stands for what he believes, keeps his word and means what he says:
Fighting Waste and Corruption in Government
- He authored and voted for legislation that cut wasteful government spending, and streamlined state bureaucracies.
- In 2006 he voted to do away with the “Lifetime Healthcare Benefits” that the Indiana Legislature had given themselves previously, citing that, “As the youngest member of this body at 28 years of age, on the present plan, I alone would cost this state over $1million if I lived to be 80. No Hoosier I know in the private sector has such a benefit, and it is wrong for public servants to have it at the taxpayer’s expense.”
- He voted to do away with the four-to-one pension match that legislators had been receiving, and changed it to match the rest of state employee pension plans.
Fiscal Discipline and Responsibility
- During his tenure in the House, the state of Indiana went from being $1 billion in the red, to being $1 billion in the black with a 5% increase in education funding, and a ten-year, fully-funded roads and infrastructure plan.
- In 2008 he voted to pass the largest Property Tax Cut in state history.
- In eight years at the State House, he has never cast a vote for deficit spending, and has only cast votes for truly balanced budgets, stating, “The government must be limited and learn to tighten its fiscal belt just like Hoosiers have to do every day.”
Standing for Hoosier Values
- As Chairman of the Public Policy committee he authored and passed the first Pro-life legislation in Indiana in over a decade.
- As a strong second amendment advocate, he authored and passed the “Lifetime Handgun Permit” in Indiana.
- Twice he co-authored the Traditional Marriage Amendment which was defeated in committee in the House.
Honoring Our Military
- He authored the Military Family Relief fund legislation that provides for the needs of Hoosier military families.
- In honor of Veterans, he sponsored an Act to rename SR 1 – Purple Heart Memorial Highway
- In 2009, he helped to pass SEA 39 giving Purple Heart recipients free tuition at state colleges.
- He sponsored bills requiring education dollars to go directly to the classroom and less to administrative costs.
- As Senator, he passed a resolution stating that Indiana would not accept any detainees who had been transferred from Guantanamo Bay into Indiana state prisons.
- In 2004 he closed a loop-hole that had allowed convicted sex-offenders to get out of prison early, and increased the penalties for such criminals in order to ensure that criminals served the maximum prison time.
- He sponsored legislation making English the official language of Indiana government.
- In 2009 he helped to pass the Illegal Immigration Reform Bill.
Encouraging New Energy/A Better Economy
- In 2006 He co-sponsored HEA 1722 offering tax credits to bio-fuel producers which helped to bring 12 new bio-fuel plants to Indiana from ’02 – ’07.
In a time when Americans have lost trust in their leaders, Marlin Stutzman stands out as a rare exception to the status quo in politics. Deeply committed to his family, his faith and his community, he has proven to be reliable, approachable and properly motivated in his service to Indiana. With the full support of his wife and family, Marlin has been a voice of reason and optimism for Hoosiers. For the past eight years he has revealed who he is, not by words, but by his consistent, principled actions in both his personal and public life. He is a board member of LaGrange Farm Bureau, a member of NFIB, NRA, ARC, the Howe Community Association and Community Baptist Church.