March 2012


Hello Indiana’s 9th Congressional District! Who do I vote for?!

Despite my earlier ambivalence about voting in the 2012 elections, I am gung-ho and ready to participate in that thing which is American Democracy!

First up, of course, is the primary – and, this time around, there’s no question as to who will be the Democratic candidate for president. Consequently, I kind of set the primaries aside, thinking I would mostly watch from the sidelines as the Republicans imploded. (Santorum, Seriously?!)

But the thing is that I forgot about the other races that I, as an American living abroad, am legally entitled to vote for: US Senate and US Congressman.

From my perspective, I have one US Senator that I am proud of, and he’s a Republican: Dick Lugar. He might be the very best US Senator I have ever had the pleasure of voting for. Consequently, as I have been informed by The Traveling PhD (and by reading the enthusiastic notes by Scott Tibbs, aka Conservatibbs), Senator Lugar is facing the very real threat of not getting the Republican nomination this time around because, as I understand it, he’s not conservative enough.

I am left scratching my head – and I sure hope that Joe Donnelly is up to the task of being a US Senator because if Dick Lugar’s name isn’t on the ballot, I won’t be voting for the Republican candidate this coming November. I might note that Joe Donnelly is running for the Democratic nomination unopposed, so when it comes time for me to vote in the Indiana Primary, I don’t have a decision to make.

Congressionally speaking, I am in Indiana’s 9th District, which is currently occupied by Todd Young, a Republican. Unlike Dick Lugar, I don’t like Todd Young – other than for his hunky good looks. I’d rather that he was in my bed doing dirty things to me than in Congress trying to do dirty things (e.g. repeal health care) to my fellow Americans.

That said, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the political news out of Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District, so I was a bit taken aback to discover that need to pick who I support in the Democratic Primary and that I have five candidates to choose from:

  • Jonathan George
  • John Griffin Miller
  • John W. Tilford
  • Robert Winningham
  • Shelli Yoder

Not knowing anything about these candidates I did the obvious thing: I googled each of them – holy cow! Jonathan George is a General! What the heck- John Griffin Miller’s website looks like it was put together by a crackpot, and… uh… I think he is a crackpot! Hmmm… John W. Tilford doesn’t want financial contributions – with an attitude like that, there’s no way he can win in November, so scratch him off the list. There’s something a bit off about Robert Winningham, but he did work for Lee Hamilton, who was a great Congressman – maybe there’s something wrong with my first impression. And last, but not least, Shelli Yoder – hmmm, former Miss Indiana (not always a good sign, but I’m biased against beauty queens), but she seems to have been endorsed by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan (a very good man), so maybe there’s something there.

In other words, I have a list of three plausible candidates now:

  • Jonathan George
  • Robert Winningham
  • Shelli Yoder

Unfortunately I still don’t know whom I am going to vote for.

Anybody have any opinions?

21 comments to Hello Indiana’s 9th Congressional District! Who do I vote for?!

  • 🙂 I feel your pain!

  • Julie Thomas

    Look into Shelli Yoder’s candidacy – she will be an incredible representative in Congress for the 9th district. She supports the AffordbLe Health Care act, she will protect women’s reproductive rights, she supports equal marriage, and she will fight for green jobs in Indiana.

  • This, as it happens, is a no-brainier. In fact, I have massive Indiana envy (for the first time) because I cannot vote for the awesome, brilliant, and yeah (incidentally) gorgeous Shelli Yoder. I went to law school with her husband and have had the pleasure of knowing Shelli for about a decade. I can’t give her a higher endorsement than to say that she is a fine person of integrity. If personal recs mean anything to you, email me and I shall go on at length. 😉

  • Steve Walker

    You want a Congressperson who is going to support the next war, then vote for General Jonathan George. 

    You want a Congressperson who is ‘a little bit off’ then vote for Robert Winningham. 

    You want a Congressperson who is going to fight for your family, then vote for Shelli Yoder. 

  • Christy

    I am voting for Shelli Yoder. She is the most compassionate, giving person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I am confident that she will be the change that the 99% want to see when she shows up for work in Washington.

  • Krista

    I admit it: “beauty queen” does not generally conjure very positive associations for me either. But you would be foolish to dismiss Shelli Yoder on such grounds. She is a woman of sharp intellect and unparalleled integrity. She got into this race because she truly wants to make a difference. (Did you read the story of how she decided to throw her name into the hat? — it’s in the mayor’s endorsement). She fully backs progressive health care reform if that is one of your key concerns. I am also impressed that she is highlighting education and green jobs, among other important issues. You might consider me biased, as I have been a friend of Shelli’s for almost 15 years. Or you might simply consider me well-informed. I don’t even live in the 9th District, so I invite you to vote for her in my stead!

  • Susan Sandberg

    Hi, Adam! Your blog post was shared by a friend on FB, so what do you know, small world after all. In the 9th the entire issue for me revolves around viability and who can possibly beat the hunky but totally unacceptable incumbent. Our Democratic contender must have the experience and gravitas to beat Young, and I’m leaning toward General George. I’ve met him a couple of times and friends that I totally trust have also chatted him up. He has D.C. experience and will be strong enough to withstand the pressures and also will hold some appeal in less liberal parts of the 9th. He’s not going to mess with Roe V. Wade, and he holds great respect for both Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. I’m still holding off on an actual endorsement, but if I had to cast the vote today, it would be for Jonathan George. My two cents from beautiful blue Bloomington!

  • Jo Parker

    Yoder. I hear very little about any of the others. I could not even remember their names! Just Yoder. She wants it and I think she can win it!

  • Chris S.

    Shelli Yoder is by far the best of the lot. She is smart, articulate, and progressive. The rest of the field really can’t compare. If you want to win with an exciting fresh and exciting candidate in November, then vote Shelli Yoder. P.S. Do you have a problem with good looking people?

  • Andrea

    I have a firm opinion about the positive things that can happen by voting for Shelli Yoder. She is a focused, passionate, articulate woman with skills in leadership and critical thinking. More importantly, though, she is one who is not just “aware” of causes or people in need, but determined to affect change on their behalf. What I know of her history, including her time in the pageant circuit is that has informed her vocation to become her truest self and aid others as they seek the same.

  • Sue Wanzer

    I have met and talked with them all and seen them all side by side in question and answer forums. I like George, but he hesitated and was non committal about being Pro Choice. Winningham is a progressive and is starting to copy Shelli’s stump speech.

    But Shelli IS THE ONE..she will take Todd Young down in any debate..she is smart, strong, curious, a great lsitener, very progressive.

    She has, is and will fight for families, labor, education. She is the complete package!

  • Russell

    The problem with Shelli Yoder is her baggage … she just can’t defeat Todd Young in the general election. She’s written that God is a “distraction” and the fact that she had a child out of wedlock when she was nearly 40 will set off alarm bells and whistles south of Bloomington who will be appalled at her moral judgment.

    You know around Bloomington more liberal women might think its ok for a divorced woman to step into someone else’s marriage and break up a home. But that won’t work down south. She looks and sound good, but sadly, these factors mean that she is not viable in the general election.

  • Chris S

    There is no truth to the scurrilous charge lodged above by Russell. Russell must be fronting for the campaign of Todd Young. Republicans are praying Democrats nominate one the guys so Young won’t be seriously challenged. Young’s people are terrified of Shelli Yoder!

    • Stacey

      Russell’s post was a bit uncalled for but I doubt Todd Young’s people are worried about a post on this blog.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been following the race pretty closely and it appears to me that Robert Winningham is the only one who can take down Todd Young in the fall. He’s clearly the only person with a background in job creation which is by far the most important issue in this election.

  • William R.

    Hmm…I don’t think this is a fair discussion when the Yoder campaign blasts it out to their followers, but then again maybe that was the point.

    I have a hard time taking Shelli seriously when she decided to jump in so late (the last day). It makes me wonder what else she’ll decide at the last moment or if she has serious thought about what this race will really ask of her. I also don’t think she’ll win over much of the conservative sections of the district.

  • Thanks, everybody, for your comments — I am taking them to heart as I make my decision — it sounds like I have a choice between Shelli Yoder and Jonathan George.

    What will drive my decision, ultimately, is who I think can be Todd Young.

  • Russell

    In reply to Chris S. I don’t harbor any ill will toward Shelli Yoder, all I’d like to see is us (Democrats) put up a candidate that can beat Todd Young in all areas of the district, not just in a few precincts around Bloomington.

    You write that the facts about her character I’ve mentioned are lies … well, they are not. I ask you to ask Shelli a few questions and see for yourself: when did she marry Josh, when was her first child born, when did Josh get divorced, when did they begin a relationship. She’s already been divorced once and this kind of recent background will kill our nominee.

    I am not anti-Shelli, I am pro-defeating Todd Young. Let’s support Shelli for the board of education, that’s a better fit. Folks, she just can’t compete in the southern part of the district and we are fooling ourselves to think otherwise.

    • Carrie Lawrence

      Russell- I completely agree what people living the blue Bloomington bubble don’t realize (and born and raised here I have first hand knowledge) that Shelli is NOT the type that truly represents the new 9th district as a whole. In a perfect world where there where gay marriage rights, women’s rights around health decisions, religion and an sustainable environment were not an issue I might consider voting for her, however I still don’t believe she is a little too fake,and maybe that is from being exposed to beauty contests.

      Also, I don’t see how she is considered as the working class in her position at the business school. When I think of the working class I think of my grandfather’s position at Otis elevator as a plant manager or the line a GE-those types of jobs are the working class. One strong feeling I do have is that is she wins the primary she will not beat Todd “the idiot” Young.

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