What sets two Republican frontrunners for Indiana’s 9th congressional district apart

The race to represent Indiana’s 9th district in congress is one of the hottest and most crowded this year.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:11 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SALEM, Ind. (WAVE) - The race to represent Indiana’s 9th district in congress is one of the hottest and most crowded this year.

The incumbent, Republican Trey Hollingsworth, decided not to run for re-election, so it’s wide open.

Many have seen ads for Mike Sodrel and Erin Houchin all over the place. Those two candidates are vying for the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

While they share a lot of views, like pro-life, pro-gun rights, and lowering the United States’ energy dependence on other nations, their backgrounds are pretty different.

“I’ve employed hundreds of people,” Sodrel said. “Literally, we’ll have 500 people on the payroll and have for decades. I don’t find anyone else in the field that have employed decades of people at a time.”

He says his experience running a trucking company would give him an important perspective in congress.

Sodrel previously held a seat in congress from 2005-2007. He has run several times since to reclaim his seat, but has not been successful.

“Too often, people that only have a political background that never had to live with any of rules they passed, never had to do business under the laws they made,” Sodrel said.

Houchin, on the other hand, has been in and out of politics for decades, even serving as a state senator.

“Well, I was an intern in the state senate in 1999, that’s when I got bit by the bug to serve,” Houchin said. “I actually had a school teacher who came up to the statehouse to participate in a committee hearing and that had a big impact on me.”

Now she runs a public relations firm focused on helping law enforcement. She said she knows the district better than any of her opponents.

“Oh my gosh, I was born and raised here,” Houchin said. “I’ve lived here all my life. I have, you know when I worked for [U.S. Senator] Dan Coates, I covered 24 counties for him, including all 18 counties in the 9th district.”

One of the issues that impacts everyone in the district, regardless of party, is inflation.

Here’s how both Houchin and Sodrel think they could help tackle the issue.

“We have fought for and secured a balanced budget amendment to the constitution,” Houchin said. “We live within our means here in Indiana. I think Washington D.C. could take a good example of trying to reign in spending and live within our means.”

“What can we do about it, we have the purse strings at least in the House so we can cause some things to happen,” Sodrel said. “Can we completely turn around the executive branch? Not likely until we have a new president.”

Voters get to make their pick on Tuesday. That person will challenge the democratic and libertarian nominees in November.

For a full list of Southern Indiana primary election races and candidates, click or tap here.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.