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Sodrel Will Seek Fourth Re-Match With Hill

Former Indiana Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) will challenge Rep. Baron Hill (D), his opponent in each of the past four general elections in the southeastern 9th district.Sodrel, who has a business background in transportation, said in a statement early Monday that “the Obama administration and [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s Congress are doing all the wrong things,— including passing a health care bill and a “cap and trade— climate change bill that won’t help the economy.“We cannot keep spending money in hopes of spending our way out of debt. We are writing checks that our grandchildren are going to have to pay,— Sodrel said.Sodrel lost to Hill as a challenger in 2002, unseated him in 2004, lost his seat in 2006 and then failed in a comeback attempt in 2008. All of the races were close with the exception of the 2008 contest, which Hill won by nearly 20 points as Barack Obama narrowly won Indiana and lost the 9th district by just 2 points.Unlike in his previous bids, Sodrel will not be a runaway favorite in the Republican primary. Todd Young, a lawyer, and Travis Hankins, a real estate investor, have been campaigning for months and neither plans to yield to Sodrel in the May 4 primary. The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 19.Young raised $216,000 through the end of September, all of it from individual donors. Hankins raised $89,000 and has concentrated heavily on door-to-door campaigning.Republicans think that Hill could face a tougher race in 2010 because of a challenging national environment for Democrats and also because of his voting record — including his support last November for a Democratic health care reform bill. Hill held a fundraiser Saturday that was attended by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

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