A little less “in your face” (at least for the moment) than the 2016 presidential candidate hopefuls headlining every news source are the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives candidates who are also gearing up for the November 2016 elections. Incumbent Republican Senator Dan Coats, who previously served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999 and has currently been serving since 2011, announced in March of this year that he would not run for re-election. This caused a bit of a frenzy in the local political world, as rumors ran rampant on who would run for Coats’ seat and what possible openings his departure may leave in the U.S. House of Representatives and across the state. Currently there are six candidates, four Republicans and two Democrats. The breakdown (in alphabetical order) is as follows:

  1. John Dickerson (D) - Retired non-profit group executive (Arc of Indiana)
  2. Kevin Grant (R) - Current Financial Consultant, Iraq War Veteran
  3. Baron Hill (D) - Current Businessman, Former State Representative, Former Congressman
  4. Eric Holcomb (R) - Former State GOP Chair, Former Congressional Aide, Former Gubernatorial Aide, Navy Veteran
  5. Marlin Stutzman (R) - CD 03 U.S. Representative since 2010, Farmer, Former State Senator, Former State Representative
  6. Todd Young (R) - CD 09 U.S. Representative since 2011, Attorney, Former Congressional Aide and USMC Veteran

With current U.S. Representatives Stutzman and Young running for Coats’ Senate seat, their seats in the House are open and have lured several current legislators and even Indiana’s attorney general. State Senators Jim Banks (R) and Liz Brown (R) have formally announced their candidacies for Stutzman’s CD 03 seat, while State Senators Brent Waltz (R) and Erin Houchin (R), along with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, are looking to fill Young’s CD 09 seat. However, state legislators and elected officials aren’t the only ones in the mix in these two hot districts. Following is a brief breakdown of all of the candidates.

CD 03 – Marlin Stutzman (R)

  1. Jim Banks (R) - Current State Senator, Real Estate Broker, Former County Councilman for Whitley County, Afghan War Veteran
  2. Liz Brown (R) - Current State Senator, Attorney and Mediator, Former City Councilwoman for Ft. Wayne
  3. Pam Galloway (R) - Retired Surgeon, Former State Senator from Wisconsin
  4. Todd Nightenhelser (D) - Current Businessman
  5. Kip Tom (R) - Current Farmer

CD 09 – Todd Young (R)

  1. Robert Hall (R) - Current Manufacturing Executive, Engineer
  2. Trey Hollingsworth (R) - Current Businessman
  3. Erin Houchin (R) - Current State Senator, Political Consultant, Former Congressional Aide
  4. James McClure, Jr. (D) - Businessman
  5. Jim Pfaff (R) - Current Public Relations Consultant, Former Congressional Aide
  6. Brent Waltz (R) - Current State Senator, Businessman, Former County Councilman for Johnson County
  7. Shelli Yoder (D) - Current County Commissioner for Monroe County
  8. Greg Zoeller (R) - Current Indiana Attorney General, Former Aide to VP Dan Quayle

Not as contested at the moment are Congressional Districts 05 and 07 belonging to Susan Brooks (R) and Andre Carson (D), respectively, who have opponents from across the aisle. A surprise to some, though, is the primary challenger who has announced his run against Larry Bucshon (R) from Congressional District 08. Richard Moss, a physician from Jasper, has announced his intention to challenge Congressman Bucshon in next year’s May primary.