This Friday, I drove to Indiana to help Travis Hankins (R-Columbus) in his campaign for Congress. I’ve known Travis – and his brother, Aaron – for about five years, and I believe he possesses the personal character we need among our elected officials. He’s also a conservative who genuinely believes in the values he talks about with Hoosiers every day, including a more limited role for the federal government. Several Republicans are vying for the chance to take on Rep. Baron Hill (D-Seymour).
Hill talks like a moderate, but all too often walks the liberal line in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he voted with Speaker Nancy Pelosi in favor of President Barack Obama‘s health care plan. The new law imposes costly new mandates and taxes on individuals, employers and insurance companies, greatly expanding the federal government’s role in the nation’s health care system.
IN-9 is conservative, but also a classic swing district. Hill has served all but two years since 1998, and Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, served for many years before that. However, John McCain earned 56% of the vote here in 2008, and Hill has faced closed races before, including in 2004 when he was knocked off by a Republican challenger. Like other Democrats representing moderate and conservative districts, Hill is vulnerable and should be running scared this year, particularly in light of his yes votes on the stimulus and health care packages.
Having been out of proper politics for a while, it’s good to be volunteering on a campaign. I lived in Indiana for two years so it’s also good to be back, especially given the chance to see some of the beautiful country in the Ninth, which stretches from Columbus on the North end to the rolling hills and forest patches of the Ohio River Valley in the South. I’ll wrap it up here but will try to post once more before I head back to Missouri in a couple days.