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Ninth District seat up for grabs

All voters in Harrison County can make their choice for the U.S. Representative District 9 seat in the Nov. 8 election.
The seat is currently held by Republican Todd Young, who is not seeking another term; instead, he is a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Dan Coats.
Those vying to succeed Young are Democrat Shelli Yoder, Republican Trey Hollingsworth and Libertarian Russell Brooksbank.
Below are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire from this newspaper.
Name and age: Shelli Yoder, 48
Residency: Bloomington
Family: Husband: Josh Perry; three kids: Ivy (12), Eden (10), Oakley (7)
Education/Occupation/Political experience: BS. Communication, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne; M.S. Human Services/Career Counseling, Indiana University South Bend; Master of Divinity, Vanderbilt University; former executive of nonprofits in the field of women’s health; current lecturer in strategic brand management, leadership and business communication, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? The communities of south central Indiana need someone fighting for them in Washington to ensure our rural communities aren’t left behind and get back to the work of creating an environment of good paying jobs. Born and raised in Indiana, the daughter of small business owners, I learned what it means to be a Hoosier. When we work together, work hard and work smart, we can solve our challenges and grow our local economy for Hoosiers. As your representative, I’ll support Democratic and Republican ideas so long as they help make Indiana a better place to work, live and thrive.
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I’ve spent my career balancing budgets and making smart investments in the business, nonprofit and public sectors. I’ve led nonprofits dedicated to helping young women envision and build better futures for themselves and currently teach the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs at IU’s Kelley School of Business. On the Monroe County Council, I’ve worked across the aisle to help grow the local Hoosier economy while keeping an eye on the bottom line. As your representative in Congress, I will bring these experiences and brand of collaborative leadership to Washington and work tirelessly to be your voice in Congress.
What is the No. 1 concern you’ve heard from potential Hoosier voters and what will you do, if elected, to address that concern (in 150 words or less)? For over a year, we’ve been talking to Hoosiers throughout the 13 counties of the Ninth District and three key issues have become the focus of this campaign: ensuring folks from all walks of life have access to good paying jobs, investing in our infrastructure — roads, bridges and broadband Internet — so our rural communities can access the 21st century economy, making college and technical training education affordable to all who want one, investing in early childhood education so our youngest Hoosiers can start on a path to success, cutting red tape so more small businesses can start up and grow in Indiana and cutting wasteful spending and making smarter investments with taxpayer dollars so Hoosiers have more money in their pockets. Through collaborative and bipartisan problem solving, we can build an Indiana where everyone has a chance to succeed.
Contact information for voters:; Facebook: Shelli Yoder for Indiana; Twitter: @Shelli4Indiana; 1-812-340-9245
Name and age: Trey Hollingsworth, 33
Residency: Jeffersonville
Family: Married to Kelly Hollingsworth
Education/Occupation/Political experience: Over the last 11 years, I have opened 14 business locations across Indiana and created hundreds of Hoosier jobs. I have never held elected office before. I believe we already have too much “political experience” in Washington and we need more people with real experience.
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I am running for Congress because it is time to stop the “politics as usual” and bring business-sense to Washington. Unfortunately, it is not realistic to assume that career politicians will change a system that they shaped to benefit themselves. We need to elect public servants who understand the problems facing our nation and are willing to stand up for our beliefs. If we want to change Washington, we need to change whom we send to Washington.
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? As a business owner, I feel the ill effects our government has on small businesses. Job creators are having a hard time creating careers because of our onerous tax code, unpredictable regulatory environment, unsecure border and damaging laws like Obamacare. I look forward to bringing my experience to Washington to fix problems, just like we do in our businesses. Hoosiers want solutions, not political grandstanding. That means having the discipline to cut spending, balance budgets and make plans for the future. Moreover, it means making hard decisions now instead of waiting to get through an election, as politicians often do.
What is the No. 1 concern you’ve heard from potential Hoosier voters and what will you do, if elected, to address that concern (in 150 words or less)? We need a Washington that works again. This means getting government refocused on essential priorities, including national security, caring for veterans and maintaining infrastructure. To execute these priorities well, we cannot keep growing the $20 trillion debt and passing budgets that don’t balance. It is time to make hard decisions to get our budget under control, and I am no stranger to doing just that in my businesses. Additionally, I am a supporter of term limits. While they are not popular with career politicians and insiders of either party, I believe term limits would better align the interests of the people with the interests of elected officials. We need representatives that don’t live by exception in D.C. forever, which is why I will support term-limits legislation and have personally pledged not to serve more than eight years in the House.
Contact information for voters: 812-379-8739;;;
Name and age: Russell Brooksbank, 45
Residency: Clarksville, Ind.
Family: Tracey (wife); Autumn, Aaron and Aimee (children)
Education/Occupation/Political experience: I am a high school graduate. I currently work as a diesel mechanic and chief shop steward. I have run for state representative and Clarksville Town Council. I am also the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Clark County.
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I’m seeking this office to ensure that I leave for my children and grandchildren a government of the people, by the people and for the people instead of a government of the special interest, by the special interest and for the special interest. The federal government has encroached on our rights for far too long now, and it is time to send someone to Washington who will stand up for us rather than just give us lip service. I don’t believe either of my opponents will do that, so I’m stepping up and in the gap for my fellow Hoosiers.
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I’m a Hoosier, a veteran and a Teamster. I understand the difficulties average Hoosiers face because I’m an average Hoosier. As a chief steward for the past 10 years, I’ve fought for the rights of my co-workers, written company policies and negotiated contracts. As Congressmen, we must be able to understand the laws we’re voting on or proposing, have the fortitude to stand for what is right and be able to work with others to find compromise. My time as chief steward has taught me those skills, and I believe they’ll serve the people of the Ninth District well.
What is the No. 1 concern you’ve heard from potential Hoosier voters and what will you do, if elected, to address that concern (in 150 words or less)? The No. 1 concern I have heard from voters is concern for their future. They’re scared about the state of the world, the economy and Washington’s steady encroachment on our state and individual rights. I believe that the cure for all these ills is less government control, not more. As your Congressman, I’ll vote to make us more secure by ending our involvement in regime change and by bringing our troops home to defend our border. I’ll vote to strengthen our economy by getting government out of the way of the marketplace. I’ll vote to end, and reverse, the encroachment on our rights by our federal government. I’ll stand in the gap between my fellow Hoosiers and a government that wants to work against them instead of for them. I’ll be a statesman that worries about the next generation instead of a politician that worries about the next election.
Contact information for voters: Email: [email protected]; website:; phone: 1-502-494-9943; Facebook: