Indiana: Sodrel Back for More; Rematch Not Assured

Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:34pm

Former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) will make another run at the 9th district seat of Rep. Baron Hill (D), his opponent in each of the past four general elections.

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 bill.