October 5, 2010
By JESSE DAVIS, THE GOSHEN NEWS
Spirits are high in the camp of Marlin Stutzman, Republican candidate for Indiana’s third congressional district.
Like Democratic competitor Tom Hayhurst, Stutzman and company have been busy traversing the district putting in face time with voters and participating in community events, among them a forum with a disabilities group and a tailgate kick-off at campaign headquarters, both in Fort Wayne.
“Things are going very well with it being a shortened race for us,” Stutzman said. “With (Mark) Souder’s resignation at the end of May and the caucus in June, it put us behind the eight ball as far as getting everything organized for us again.”
Stutzman reconfigured his campaign to seek the U.S. Representative seat vacated by Souder after losing a bid for the Republican nomination to one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats in the May 4 primary to former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats.
According to Stutzman, his campaign stops and speaking events have taught him something — voters are upset.
“Folks are very upset about the health care bill, they’re upset by the spending going on in Washington,” Stutzman said. “With a down economy, people have less money in their pockets and they don’t see the sense in Washington of spending constraint like people are doing in their family budgets.”
He said the national debt has ballooned from $1 trillion in 1980 to $14 trillion in 2010, with the federal government spending twice as much money as all state and local governments in the United States combined.
“I believe that’s why we need to get Republican control in Washington and stand up against those who want to spend more money,” Stutzman said.
Tea Party/9-12 Movement
In the Midwest like most other areas across the country, the tea party and 9-12 movements are having a motivating effect on large portions of the populace who had previously not participated in the political process outside of voting. Stutzman said he sees the movements as a positive for the American political scene.
“I think they’ll have a large impact on this race and I think they’ll have a big impact on the Walorski/Donnelly race,” Stutzman said. “It’s like in 2008 with Barack Obama’s ACORN groups, I think this is a counter-response to that.”
Recognizing that the groups are not partisan but do espouse conservative values, he said it is good for the process.
“I think you’ll see more conservatives coming out to vote in 2010 like you saw new voters and Obama voters coming out in 2008,” Stutzman said.
There are several problems with the direction that Washington is taking the country, Stutzman argued, and said that is part of his desire in seeking election.
“We need folks that are going to be willing to protect our jobs here in our country, we need an all-of-the-above energy policy that encourages our own domestic production of alternative energy and we need a sound tax policy where people know they’re not going to have to pay more out of their pockets for the government,” he said. “People want stability. They want the government to stop overreacting and constrain themselves rather than passing more legislation.”
He also said the country needs to continue to be vigilant regarding the threat of Islamic terrorism.
Stutzman said this is “probably one of the most important elections in our nation’s history.”
Stutzman’s campaign will continue rolling forward in the coming days. He will be speaking at a 9-12 rally in Auburn today, attending the Kosciusko County fish fry Wednesday in Warsaw, participating in a rally at ML Motorsports — the only NASCAR garage in the state — on Thursday and taking a tour of an Air National Guard base on Friday. He will also be at LaGrange’s corn school.
“We’ve got a great staff and volunteer base, and we’ve been able to raise money,” Stutzman said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to be very competitive on the airwaves — television and radio, as well as in mailers.”