Indiana: Elrod Exits House Race, Leaves GOP Scrambling

Posted June 18, 2008 at 5:50pm

With less than four months in Congress under his belt, Rep. André Carson (D) is on track to coast to re-election.

His would-be opponent, state Rep. Jon Elrod (R), announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race for the Indianapolis-based district and instead running for re-election to his state House seat.

Carson defeated Elrod for the first time in the March special election to fill the seat vacated by his grandmother, the late Rep. Julia Carson (D), who died in December. Carson and Elrod both won their contested May primaries for the November general elections and were set to run against each other again in November — until Elrod’s announcement.

“I am resolute that the greater good is in a hard-fought return to the state House, rather than a long-shot run for Congress,” Elrod said in prepared remarks.

A spokesman for the Indiana Republican Party, Jay Kenworthy, said Elrod has the party’s full support in his decision as the GOP tries to take back the state House this fall. Kenworthy said the party has three days to fill Elrod’s spot on the Congressional ballot.