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Indiana: Carson Airs First TV Ad for the Special Election

Indianapolis City-County Councilor André Carson (D) has put up his first television spot in the special election to replace his grandmother, the late Rep. Julia Carson (D), who died in December.

“The most important thing I can pass onto my daughter are the values that my family taught me,” Carson says in the ad. “Work hard, fight for what you believe in and help others. These values are why I’m running for Congress. To make sure our kids get a good education to prepare for the jobs of the future. To lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs. And to fight for change in Washington for all our families here in Indiana.”

Carson also was scheduled to hold a rally with Sen. Evan Bayh (D) on Monday in support of education at a downtown Indianapolis hotel. According to local news reports, Bayh also is set to endorse Carson.

Carson will face state Rep. Jon Elrod (R) in the special election scheduled for March 11. However, both Carson and Elrod are simultaneously campaigning in their respective May 6 primaries to run for a full term in Congress — and both candidates have primary opponents.

Former state Health Commissioner Woody Myers (D) and state Rep. David Orentlicher (D) have filed as candidates with the Federal Election Commission, while state Rep. Carolene Mays (D) is said to also be close to announcing her bid. Former radio host Tom Rose has filed alongside Elrod for the GOP nod.

The district, which includes Indianapolis and its less liberal suburbs, leans Democratic. However, Republicans have made recent gains in the area, including taking down the two-term incumbent Democratic mayor in November.

Puckett Formally Kicks Off Donnelly Challenge

Businessman Luke Puckett (R) announced his candidacy in the 2nd district Monday morning, officially putting himself back in the race for the competitive north-central Indiana seat. Puckett decided against a campaign last summer before reconsidering a bid in December.

Freshman Rep. Joe Donnelly took the seat in 2006 as part of a Democrat sweep of three competitive seats in the state.

Puckett owns a Monster Pontoon company in north-central Indiana. The district, which includes South Bend and the area south of the city, is considered competitive for Congressional candidates. However, the district usually votes Republican in statewide and presidential contests.

Puckett said in an interview in December that he reconsidered a campaign for the seat after “some dialogue, but not a lot” with the National Republican Congressional Committee.
— Shira Toeplitz

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