Friday, August 10, 2012

Crooks Trying to Unseat Bucshon in Bloody 8th

Indiana's 8th Congressional seat is back up for grabs in 2012, and Dave Crooks figures to give incumbent Larry Buschon all he wants in the fight to represent Southwest Indiana.
David Crooks

The district has changed quite a bit since Bucshon defeated Democratic challenger Trent VanHaaften in 2010 by 20 percentage points.  That was, of course, another switch in party for this district as the incumbent at that time, Brad Ellsworth, was the Democrat running for Senate against the GOP's Dan Coats.  

Redistricting has made the hard-to-predict district much more neutral than it previously was.  Bucshon still likely has the advantage on paper, but paper advantages have really made much of a difference for the voters of this independent-thinking district.

For an alternative to Bucshon, Crooks is a strong candidate.  He's popular in the area having represented a portion of the district in the Indiana General Assembly.  As a radio station owner and radio host, his name is very familiar.  He's a blue dog Democrat meaning that he has the necessary conservative credentials to succeed.  Other than Ellsworth coming back, he's about the best candidate D's could put up in 2012.
Larry Bucshon

This is a referendum on Bucshon, and, let's be honest, the Republican has really been under the radar a lot so far.  He hasn't said anything that controversial, and he stays away from the crazy wing of the party.  While his website pays homage to Tea Party talking points on the perils of liberalism, he clearly knows his district and that one stupid decision or action could end his time in Congress, just ask John Hostetler.  Bucshon got "Tea Partied" this time around in the May Primary, but he managed to win that race fairly easily.  He is rated as a moderate by GovTrack in an analysis of his votes.

Bucshon seems to succeed by staying out of everyone's way and doing his loyal weekly spot on WIBC's Garrison program.  Though he can't point to a lot of legislative victories, he can certainly say that he's kept the district out of the papers for the wrong reasons.  He hasn't gone Weiner and tweeted anyone any body parts or tried to duplicate Hostettler's feat of carrying a loaded gun through the Louisville airport.  

Libertarian Bart Gadau is also in the race.  On his website, he touts himself as a fiscal conservative who is very libertarian when it comes to social issues.  

When it comes to money, Open Secrets reports that Dave Crooks had more cash on hand as of June 30.  He had $542,191 on hand while Bucshon had $386,851 on hand.  The money should continue to pour into this race, especially if it says close.

This race remains one to watch with under 90 days to go.  It's going to come down to how the voters feel about the milquetoast Dr. Bucshon or if they want to replace him with a dynamic guy like Crooks.  Gadau could be a spoiler.

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