Voters to determine federal, state races
Harrison County voters will help determine who will serve as the U.S. representative for District 9, as well as the state Senate District 47 and state Representative District 70 officeholders.
U.S. Representative District 9
In the District 9 race, Republican Trey Hollingsworth of Jeffersonville, who is completing his first term in office, is being challenged by Democrat Liz Watson of Bloomington. Both won their respective Primary races, with Hollingsworth defeating one challenger while Watson was challenged by two other Democrats. Below are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire sent to them by this newspaper.
Name and residency: Liz Watson, Monroe County resident
Family: I am married with two kids. My kids go to the same schools I did when I was growing up. My parents live five minutes away from us.
Education: Bloomington High School South, Carleton College, Georgetown University Law Center
Occupation: Workers’ rights attorney
Political experience: First time running for office
Contact information for voters: Website: lizforindiana.com; Facebook and Twitter: @lizforindiana; Email: [email protected]
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I think my background as a working mom and fighting for working people will be an asset. As Labor Policy Director in the U.S. House, I led the development of a working families agenda that emphasized better wages, fairer labor practices and strong collective bargaining rights. Those principles remain central to my agenda, and I have spent years working in Congress to develop effective ideas for implementing them. If elected, I will be able to hit the ground running and deliver results for Southern Indiana.
What is one misinformation circulating about you? Use 100 words or less to set the record straight: You know, despite all the misinformation on TV, I’m not too worried about setting the record straight. I’ve been out across all 13 counties in our district, talking to voters and holding town halls, while my opponent has rejected more than a dozen invitations to debate. I’ve had thousands of conversations about the real issues facing working families in Southern Indiana, and everyone I’ve met has been more interested in real solutions than in whatever misinformation is being put out by Congressman Hollingsworth’s D.C. marketing firm. I’ll gladly put my trust in Hoosier common sense.
What will be your No. 1 priority during your term if you are elected (in 150 or less)? All over Southern Indiana, I hear that the biggest problem for working families is the unaffordable cost of health care. I’ve heard so many heart-breaking stories: folks who can’t afford to fill their prescriptions, who can’t find or pay for opioid addiction treatment, who are terrified of losing their coverage if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If elected, my top priority will be to make sure that world-class health care is affordable and accessible for every American: by defending the Affordable Care Act, empowering the government to negotiate prescription drug prices and expanding and improving Medicare for all Americans.
Name and residency: Trey Hollingsworth, Jeffersonville
Family: I have been married to my wife, Kelly, for four years, and, in 2017, we welcomed our first child, Joseph, into the world.
Education: Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University
Political experience: I had never held political office prior to becoming your Representative in Congress.
Contact information for voters: www.votefortrey.com, facebook.com/votetrey
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? Over a decade ago, I started my first business in Indiana. One business grew to several and a few jobs turned into hundreds of careers. I know what it means to make a payroll, negotiate for lower healthcare costs and operate within a budget. I understand how laws and onerous regulations impact workers, companies and families. We have enough lobbyists, lawyers and career politicians in Congress. These political insiders won’t fix the system that’s working only for them, not for Hoosiers. People with genuine experience need to get involved to get our government back in the hands of the people.
What is one misinformation circulating about you? Use 100 words or less to set the record straight: Rather than worry about political attacks, I focus every day on how to serve and to listen to as many Hoosiers as possible, because we all have a stake in our government, not just the loudest or most politically active among us. We deserve a Washington we can be proud of again, and I try every day to make sure that begins right here in Indiana’s Ninth District.
What will be your No. 1 priority during your term if you are elected (in 150 or less)? During my first 22 months in office, I have made over 35,000 personal calls to constituents to hear about the issues that matter most to Hoosier families. The resounding top concern is how we get back to a Washington that listens to us and works for us. To achieve this, I am an ardent supporter of term limits. Term limits would shake up Washington, bring in new experiences and insights, and force elected officials to live under the laws they passed. Additionally, I have authored the strictest lobbying ban in Congress. Elected officials shouldn’t cash in on your trust at the end of their time in office. Finally, one of the most basic responsibilities of our federal government is national defense, but, by failing to secure our southern border, we have left our country vulnerable. We must finally secure our borders and ensure that sanctuary cities abide by federal law.
State Representative 70
In the District 70 race, Republican Karen Engleman of Georgetown, who is completing her first term in office, squares off against Democrat challenger Sarah Stivers of Sellersburg. Both were unopposed in the Primary. Below are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire sent to them by this newspaper.
Name and residency: Sarah Stivers, Sellersburg
Family: Ann Stivers (mother), Tim Stivers (brother), Ben and Susie Stivers (brother and sister-in-law), Reagan, McKenna and Wyatt Jobe and Stocky Stivers (nieces and nephews)
Education: Master of Arts in teaching; Bachelor of Arts in psychology
Occupation: Experienced high school teacher, small business owner of Sarah Stivers Productions, entrepreneur, professional singer and performer
Political experience: I have fresh ideas and perspective, and I have never run for public office before.
Contact information for voters: Phone ‘ 1-502-751-8880; email ‘ [email protected]; website ‘ www.stivers4indiana.com; Facebook ‘ Stivers4Indiana; Instagram ‘ Stivers4Indiana; Twitter ‘ Stivers4Indiana
Why are you seeking office (in 100 words or less)? Like so many Hoosiers, I am frustrated by the state legislature and its inability or unwillingness to address the real problems that families face in southern Indiana. The opioid and drug crisis is taking lives and separating parents from children; health care is not affordable or available for many; working more than one job and still being unable to make ends meet is commonplace. I decided to address these economic issues by running for state legislator. I want to help regular people with the issues that affect us every day.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponent (in 100 words or less)? I offer common-sense problem solving and a willingness to work with any person who presents good ideas for working families. I’m not beholden to any political interests or powers. My opponent is a very nice person, but she’s a career office-holder who has no particular stances or initiatives that set her apart from the established platform of her political party. She’s functioned as a rubber stamp in Indianapolis for an agenda that’s out of touch with the needs and concerns of many southern Indiana families. That’s the primary difference between us and the single most compelling reason to choose me.
What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 70 and how would you tackle them (in 150 words or less)? There’s really just one issue, with lots of component parts, which dominates this conversation: Economic security. But it has so many facets. It requires availability of meaningful employment at a fair wage, adequate social protections for the retired and disabled, well-funded and fairly distributed access to a good public education, assistance for those harmed by the opioid crisis and access to quality health care that does not force people into some combination of poverty, bankruptcy and homelessness. These are all issues on which the Indiana legislature is either not currently doing enough or is actively working to undermine the security and stability of my family and yours.
Name and residency: Karen Engleman, Georgetown
Family: I am married to Gary Engleman. We have five children, David Shireman, Jennifer Fischer, Chris Engleman, Jennifer Wernert and Greg Engleman, and 12 grandchildren.
Education: I graduated from Corydon Central High School in 1971. I have attended Indiana University Southeast, Bellarmine and Jefferson Community College.
Occupation: I am Indiana State Representative for District 70, which includes almost all of Harrison County and part of Clark and Floyd counties.
Political experience: I served as Harrison County auditor for almost 14 years and clerk-treasurer of the Town of Crandall for seven years.
Contact information for voters: My email address is [email protected] or find me on Facebook at karenforstaterep.
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I have had the privilege of serving my neighbors in District 70 as their State Representative for the past two years. This is an honor for which I will always be grateful, but my work there is not done. I believe my experience and knowledge of the workings of government at the state and local level gives an important and unique perspective that is needed in Indianapolis.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents (in 100 words or less)? I am pro-life and have been endorsed by the NRA, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police and NFIB, which is a small business association. I believe my conservative values best align with the voters in District 70, and I would very much like to continue to be the voice for the residents in my district in Indianapolis. I have worked hard to fight for District 70, and I will continue to work hard to deliver positive results for Southern Indiana.
What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 70 and how would you tackle them (in 150 words or less)? Protecting our kids is a major priority for me. I helped pass bills to add case workers for state family services, help prevent teen suicides, improve daycare safety and fund increased security at schools. We need to continue helping children by increasing funding for schools and providing students the necessary education and training to acquire high-paying jobs. The drug and opioid crisis is a huge issue to continue addressing. I helped pass legislation which would ensure that low-level misdemeanor drug offenders are able to have access to drug diversion and rehabilitation programs before they turn to more severe offenses and self-destructive behavior. I also supported a bill which will ensure more accurate and detailed data on drug-related deaths meaning law enforcement, first responders and health officials can strategically allocate resources to drug enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts. I’ll continue to support measures to further address and stop this growing problem.
State Senate District 47
Incumbent Erin Houchin, R-Salem, is being challenged by Democrat Nick Siler of Leavenworth for the District 47 seat. Neither had opposition in the Primary. Below are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire sent to them by this newspaper.
Name and residency: Nick Siler, Leavenworth
Family: Wife of 11 years, Emily. Sons Frederick, 5, and Christian, 8 months. I met my wife while we were both working in Salem after graduation.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Dayton (2002); Juris Doctor, University of Louisville (2005); Graduate, Awareness Washington County (2011); IDP Emerging Leaders Program (2018)
Occupation: Attorney for 13 years, including 7-1/2 as local counsel for Indiana Dept. of Child Services; Alternative Dispute Resolution Intake Coordinator (Crawford Circuit Court)
Political experience: This is my first run for any elected office but served as Indiana State Convention Delegate (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018); chairman, Board of Directors, Community Foundation of Crawford County; past Parish Council president, St. Patrick’s Church (Salem); Washington County Family YMCA Board of Directors; trustee, Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 3516 (Salem); Executive Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana
Contact information for voters: Phone ‘ 812-936-9090; email ‘ [email protected]; web ‘ www.votenicksiler.com; Facebook ‘ Facebook.com/VoteNickSiler; Instagram ‘ @nicksilerforsouthernindiana; Twitter ‘ @RealNickSiler
Why are you seeking this office (in 100 words or less)? Our district needs a state senator willing to represent Southern Indiana to Indianapolis, not represent Indianapolis to Southern Indiana. We need someone to bring with him the perspectives of the decent, hardworking, everyday people who teach our children, grow our food, take care of our seniors, fight our fires, protect our lives, pave our roads and fix our cars and trucks. I’ll team up with Republicans and Democrats to restore local control as much as possible, as I work to improve public education, public safety, public health and public infrastructure. That’s the way we’ll attract private investment and create jobs.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents (in 100 words or less)? Throughout my adult life, I have looked for ways to lift people up and believe we all have a responsibility to make our communities better places to live. In the State Senate, I would bring that same spirit to represent the six counties of this district and stick up for Southern Indiana. I will listen to wisdom from the district and not take orders from lobbyists in Indianapolis. We need a state senator focused on opportunities for the next generation, not the next election. No political career is more important than the needs of Southern Indiana families.
What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 47, and how would you tackle them (in 150 words or less)? First, public education is the reason I’m running. Teachers and school boards are looking for leadership in Indianapolis who will fight for rural school districts and against a school funding formula that punishes areas with large amounts of farmland, state and federal land, lower residential property values and less industry and business. That describes Senate District 47 perfectly. Less wealthy school districts are set up to fail, teachers are leaving the profession and our kids and their parents are caught in the middle. No more. Second, Indiana needs to deal with the drug abuse problem immediately. We need to have improved availability for mental health and addiction recovery services in all communities of the district. Mental health problems are both the cause and also the effect of substance abuse, both for the addict in addition to family members and other loved ones. Healthy people, physically and mentally, are more productive.
Name and residency: Erin Houchin, Salem
Family: Husband, Dustin; three children
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University
Occupation: State senator
Political experience: Erin is a 2007 graduate of the Indiana Leadership Forum (ILF) and was elected president of her class. In 2008, Erin was one of 50 women from throughout the world selected to attend the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. In 2009, she was presented with the ILF Founder’s Award for achievements in politics. She is also a graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. She also served as Southeast Regional director for Sen. Dan Coats and as a governor’s appointee to the Indiana Commission for Women.
Contact information for voters: 812-993-1770; [email protected]
Why are you seeking the office? (no more than 100 words): My focus as a legislator has been on creating good-paying jobs by supporting small businesses and keeping taxes low, giving law enforcement the tools and support necessary to combat the drug epidemic and hold criminals accountable, improving educational opportunities for our children and expanding access to affordable and efficient broadband services to rural communities. I have worked to bring new ideas and bold leadership to the State Senate on behalf of District 47, and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together over the past few years. Our efforts have paid off, but there is still work to do.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents? (in 100 words or less): I first ran for the State Senate because I wanted to make things happen for Southern Indiana. I believed our community needed a fighter in Indianapolis to make sure our voice was heard and our needs were met. I have worked hard to author and pass legislation to improve our communities, and we have been successful. It is my honor to serve as your State Senator, and I ask that you allow me the privilege of serving again. I would truly appreciate your vote as we continue to make Indiana an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 47 and how would you tackle them? (in 150 words or less): Two of the top issues facing District 47 are the increasing drug epidemic and the lack of affordable and efficient broadband services. We must fight the drug epidemic on multiple fronts ‘ from increasing penalties and enforcement, to providing reliable and responsible treatment and addressing addiction at the source. I have been proud to author and pass legislation to do just that. I have also been proud to pass legislation giving our communities the tools necessary to expand broadband access in areas that need it most. Our work is far from done, and I will continue addressing these issues and more.