Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hershman May Run for 4th District Congressional Seat

Gay marriage ban Constitutional Amendment backer Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield) is apparently thinking about running for retiring Rep. Steve Buyer's Indiana's 4th Congressional District seat.

Of course, Hershman, the water carrier of SJR-7, is just one of the big name Republicans in the state that allegedly is looking at the seat. Todd Rokita and Becky Skillman have also been rumored to be interested in the seat. In Indiana, there's no residency requirement. Thus, you can run for Congress from any district even if you don't live there. Filing deadline is Feb. 19.

Senate Joint Resolution 7 would write discrimination into the Indiana Constitution by banning gay marriage. It would also be unnecessary given that a law exists on the Indiana books defining who can marry who. Hershman is even against civil unions.

The only Democrat (and candidate) in the race is Purdue University Professor Dr. Sanders who is extremely capable and would make a great representative. Sanders is strongly opposed to things like Hershman's constitutional amendment. He was interviewed on CNN this week regarding Steve Buyer's exit from the race. He believes that this will be a nationally-watched race for Congress. He already knows the district as he has run twice before for Congress with Buyer defeating him in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, Buyer defeated attorney Nels Ackerson, his most well-financed Democratic opponent to date.

Indiana's Fourth District is a tough road most years for most Democrats. Now that Buyer is gone, the prospect of the open seat has made it extremely interesting to Republicans and to Sanders. The district runs from Monticello to Mitchell, and it really lacks any true center instead cobbling together parts of towns and counties for the most part.

Sanders or any other Democrat will need a huge war chest to get the word out and defeat Hershman and any other Republicans. I suspect there may now be a hotly-contested primary fight for the seat. Hershman, having ties to the representative as his district operations director, will possibly be Rep. Buyer's choice to replace him in Congress.

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