Dad-to-be and former Indiana Auditor of State candidate, Democrat Sam Locke has opened an exploratory committee to possibly run against Congressman Todd Young in Indiana's 9th Congressional District. Locke e-mailed supporters yesterday about his campaign.
While he wasn't successful in defeating longtime state officeholder Tim Berry in the 2010 General Election, Locke traveled extensively in the state and ran a great campaign for the job. I knew when I heard him speak at the 2010 Indiana Democratic Convention in Indianapolis that we had not heard the last of him.
While the maps in the 9th are sure to change from its current form, this district remains one of Indiana's enigmas. While the 8th District has long been called the "Bloody 8th" for good reason, the 9th is making its case for that moniker.
Incumbent Baron Hill was defeated in 2004 by perennial candidate Mike Sodrel by 1,500 votes after a tight race in 2002. Sodrel got two years in office before Hill returned in 2006 and took the seat back in another nail biter. Hill rode the Democratic wave of 2008 to an easy reelection bid but was unseated by Young in the Republican blitz of 2010.
In what is the current 9th, Young could muster just a bit over 52 percent of the vote. Hill won a tick over 42 percent, and Libertarian Greg Knott had a fine showing with just over five percent of the vote. Democrats figure to target Young in 2012, and the district looks to still hold some hope for a good candidate like Locke.
Here is the release from Sam's campaign:
As a long-time confidant and supporter, I want to take a moment to share some exciting news with you – and seek your advice.
In recent months many people have asked me to consider running for the United States Congress in the 9th District. It has been flattering and I am truly humbled by the suggestion. While we don’t have a final district map quite yet, I want to let you know Kara and I are seriously considering this possibility.
Like you, I realize our country is facing a number of challenges at home and abroad. And, like you, I am frustrated that instead of tackling those issues in a straightforward, honest way, today’s Congress has chosen to put ideology over ideas and politics over progress.
I know we can do better and, as a proud Hoosier, I know we deserve better. We need to focus on the issues that matter to all Hoosiers, not the powerful special interests. Together, we can try something different. We need a different type of candidate, one who is willing to stand-up to the status-quo political system and forge a new way forward.
Over the next few months, in addition to welcoming a daughter into our family, I will be reaching out to seek your input. I know for us to be successful it will require the support and counsel of committed individuals like you.
While we won’t decide on whether to formally enter the race until later this year, our initial success has triggered a Federal Election Commission requirement to form an Exploratory Committee, and I have done so. The Stand with Sam Exploratory Committee has been created and we’ve also launched www.standwithsam.org and are on Facebook. Join us to keep up-to-date as the exploration process moves forward.
I look forward to discussing this potential campaign with you in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com.
I am confident that, together, we will accomplish extraordinary things for our communities and our State.
Thank you for everything.
If Sam runs, and I think he will, he will join his two buddies that ran for state executive offices in 2010 as a candidate for office. Pete Buttigieg is one of the Democrats running for Mayor of South Bend, and Vop Osili is hoping to win a seat on the City-County Council later this year. Locke's run, of course, will be a year later in 2012.
I think the potential for a crowded field in the 9th amongst Democrats is possible, but Locke is the first that I've heard to take the step forward. I think with his resume and his hard run in 2010 for the Auditor's Office that he's likely the favorite to be the nominee in 2012 for the 9th...unless Baron Hill throws his hat back in the ring. So far, I've not heard that Baron is thinking in that direction.