Shelli Yoder running for Indiana 9th Congressional District
By Megan Banta

Monroe County Council member Shelli Yoder today announced that she will run for Indiana’s 9th Congressional District.

Yoder, a Democrat, successfully garnered the Democratic nomination for the seat in 2012 but lost to incumbent Rep. Todd Young in the general election. Young announced earlier this summer that he is vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Senate spot currently held by Dan Coats, a Republican who isn’t seeking re-election next year.

Yoder is the first Democrat to announce her intention to run.  

“I’m a different kind of Democrat, and I will always put common sense over partisan ideology,” Yoder said Monday morning in a press release announcing her campaign. “I believe good government and a strong private sector can work together without leaving hard-working Hoosier families behind, and I have a proven track record of working across the aisle to solve tough problems as a public servant.

“More than anything, I understand as the mom of three young children that you can’t fix anything if folks are always fussing and fighting. It’s time to put petty politics aside and move all communities and Hoosiers in the Ninth District forward,” Yoder added.

Yoder, who lives in Bloomington with her husband, Josh Perry, and their three children, currently is vice president on the council and teaches an award-winning business course to all undergraduates enrolled at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

In her campaign announcement, Yoder laid out what she would like to see Central and Southern Indiana become:  “a place that rewards people who work hard and take chances.”

“We must rebuild a place where our kids and grandkids can find good-paying jobs and strong schools, where entrepreneurs can thrive, where everyone feels safe and welcome, and where a ZIP code doesn’t determine your destiny,” she said.


Shelli Yoder running for Indiana 9th Congressional District — 1 Comment

  1. Even though I don’t live in the 9th Congressional District I’m following its race since it has an open seat. The 3rd Congressional District also has an open seat and is also being followed. – Russ

    Indiana’s 9th District Congressional Race, Explained
    Indiana’s 9th District seat for the U.S. House of Representatives is open as Rep. Todd Young makes a run for the seat Sen. Dan Coats is vacating.
    By Alexander McCall

    Indiana’s 9th District seat for the U.S. House of Representatives is opening as Rep. Todd Young makes a run for the seat Sen. Dan Coats is vacating.

    Here’s a breakdown of who’s running, what’s at stake and how the race could play out.

    Who’s in the race?

    Currently, four candidates have declared their candidacy, and all are Republican.

    But political analyst Ed Feigenbaum says isn’t unusual to see more GOP candidates. He says the 9th District seat, which represents a district spanning from southern Marion County all the way to the state line, trends Republican, and a strong Democratic candidate may not appear until after the primary.

    “In the past, they’ve understood they can perform better without a primary,” he says. “I think Democrats are hoping Republicans will spend most of their money in the primary and that there will be some bruised egos. Perhaps a candidate emerges from the Republican side that’s not necessarily the choice of a majority of Republicans, and they might lean toward a more moderate Democrat.”

    Here’s who’s declared so far:

    Robert Hall, founder of Grassroots Conservatives
    Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem
    Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood
    Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General
    Feigenbaum says Houchin, Waltz and Zoeller all have significant political and electoral experience.

    Zoeller, who was first elected to the Indiana Attorney General’s office in 2008, has previous experience in Washington, D.C. working for Dan Quayle for a decade in both his U.S. Senate office and the Office of the Vice President of the United States. He won re-election as attorney general in 2012.

    Houchin, who was elected to the Indiana State Senate last year, defeated incumbent Richard Young, D-Milltown, in the race for the District 47 State Senate seat. And Waltz, who was the first to enter the race, has more than a decade in the Indiana Senate under his belt. Each, Feigenbaum says, has previously defeated “big” incumbents.

    He says Hall could appeal to far-right Tea Party voters in the district. The Herald-Times reports he’s received the endorsement of the group Hoosiers for a Conservative 9th.

    Funding could largely shape the race, too — especially if donations from larger national organizations are involved.

    “That can certainly change the dynamics of the race by allowing a particular candidate to be defined by someone from the outside,” Feigenbaum says.

    What’s at stake?

    “Congressional seats don’t often become open in the state of Indiana,” Feigenbaum says. “Obviously when a seat opens up, there’s a lot of interest in it.”

    A scarcity of open seats makes for a contentious race, Feigenbaum says, and to some candidates, the race might appear like an opportunity to take a step forward in their political careers.

    But Feigenbaum says it’s unlikely that’s the case for a candidate such as Zoeller, who is 60 years old. Instead, he says, serving as a representative may act as more of a career capstone.

    “I don’t think he’s looking to go on and run for Senate or for governor or for President 10 or 15 years down the road. I think this is an end-game for him,” he says.

    But for candidates such as Houchin or Waltz, the seat could serve as a springboard to higher office. Feigenbaum says Rep. Todd Young’s bid for Senate could be in that same vein.

    “If you look at Congressman Young right now, he’s served basically two terms, and he’s looking to move to the U.S. Senate,” he says. “There’s an opportunity for a winning candidate to move on and up to governor or U.S. Senate. There are a lot of different career paths you can choose once you make it to Congress”