This past Friday night in Huntington, Indiana, there was a major multi-election debate sponsored by the Huntington Tea Party. Candidates for both the United States Senate and for Congress in the state's 5th district were expected to appear. Unfortunately, while on I-69 going south, I realized I had forgotten to bring a camera! I'm usually reliable when it comes to forgetting something as I get ready for a big trip, and I had to forget to bring a camera for an event like this! Good grief!
Anyway, after forgetting to bring a camera (as well as missing two turns I needed to take and driving by the location of the debate twice!), I finally arrived for the debate almost two hours early. I was there as a volunteer once again for Marlin Stutzman's Senate campaign and helped by passing out campaign literature and stickers. At about 7:20 in the evening, the debate began, with Emery McClendon of ARMAD as the moderator.
The candidates for Congress appeared first; six of the seven Republicans and one of the two Democrats in the race appeared. Although I live in the 3rd district (and know who I'm voting for in May), I listened to the debate like an undecided voter, and I must say of the six Republicans, only half stood out in any way: Andy Lyons (who came across like a firebrand candidate if ever I heard one), Dr. John McGoff (who previously ran in the 2008 primary against the incumbent Congressman Dan Burton), and Brose McVey. Dr. Nasser Hanna, the one Democrat at the debate, was also the one candidate who voiced his support for ObamaCare. The man certainly has chutzpah, I'll give him that. The Congressional debate ended after four questions and final remarks.
All five of the Republicans running for the U.S. Senate appeared. Richard Behney did well at the debate, as did Marlin Stutzman (is it that shocking to you?). Dan Coats did fine, although what he had to say about his votes on a temporary ban on AK-47's left me concerned. As for Don Bates, Jr. and John Hostettler, I had no complaints. More questions were asked of the Senate candidates than the candidates for Congress; I think about five more questions, in fact. The debate ended as expected, at about 9:30 in the evening.
Yesterday saw the results of a straw poll conducted by the Huntington Tea Party. For the Congressional race, out of 277 votes cast, Andy Lyons came in first with 125 votes (can't say I'm surprised). Brose McVey finished in third with 37 votes, and Dr. McGoff in sixth with 11 (two votes, in fact, behind the absent Congressman Burton).
For the Senate race, Marlin Stutzman, like he did in Warsaw, won the straw poll with 99 votes out of 296 cast. Also as in Warsaw, Richard Behney finished in second with 68 votes, while Dan Coats came in third this time with 54, Don Bates, Jr. in fourth with 45, and John Hostettler dead last with 30 votes. Two things of note here: 1) If you look at how just the residents of Huntington County voted, it's interesting to note that Marlin Stutzman received the most votes in that category as well 2) With the results of these two straw polls, my confidence that Marlin Stutzman is not only a frontrunner in this election, but will also win the Republican nomination, continues to grow.