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Indiana - 9th District

Incumbent -- Baron P. Hill (D) ; Defeated by Toddy Young, R, in general election on November 2, 2010

Leans Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

Hill, a former state Representative and basketball standout, is the definition of a seasoned campaigner, but in 2010 he's facing a different opponent for the first time in almost a decade.

Over the past four cycles Hill has faced Republican businessman Mike Sodrel. Sodrel won in 2004 but lost the other three times. Sodrel's bid for yet another rematch failed, and Republicans nominated Bloomington lawyer Todd Young instead.

Young, who has the support of the anti-tax Club for Growth, has worked to tie Hill to Democratic leaders and highlighted the Blue Dog Congressman's votes for cap-and-trade and the new health care law.

Hill took to the district on foot during the August recess. He walked 250 miles across the district, a tactic he also tried when he walked across the state during the Senate race in 1990. That year he lost to Dan Coats, who had been appointed to the seat when Dan Quayle became vice president. For what it's worth, Young is married to Quayle's niece.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Bordering the Ohio River to the south, the 9th shares a socially conservative lean with Indiana's other river valley district (the 8th). Manufacturing forms the economic foundation, although agriculture and retail trade also are prevalent. The district extends as far north as Monroe County to take in almost all of Bloomington.

Residents from Cincinnati and Ohio suburbs moved into the 9th's northeastern counties, creating a slightly more suburban feel to the largely rural area. To the southwest, Clark and Floyd counties grow in parallel to growth in the Louisville metropolitan area -- more of the 9th's residents live in Clark than in any of the district's other 19 counties. Manufacturing, retail jobs and the health care sector in these areas have helped these counties.

Elizabeth, in Harrison County west and south of Louisville, hosts a riverboat casino and resort that is a key employer in the region. Factories also provide jobs for residents of the small and midsize cities of the district, while corn and soybean fields occupy most of the rural landscape.

Bloomington is home to Indiana University, which gives Monroe County a Democratic lean. While the university helps make Monroe one of Indiana's best-educated counties, the 9th as a whole is more blue-collar with a lower percentage of college graduates. Despite the district's Democratic heritage, the area's social conservatism has propelled Republican candidates to victory.

Major Industry

Manufacturing, agriculture, retail

Cities

Bloomington (pt.), 78,306; Jeffersonville, 44,953; New Albany, 36,372

Notable

The 1954 Milan High School basketball team inspired the movie "Hoosiers."

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