Though he is well versed on issues facing Congress and has positions that would serve the district and nation well, Democrat Kevin Boyd has not made the case for dumping first-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman.
Stutzman will have actually served a little more than one term because he was appointed in 2010 by a Republican caucus of 3rd District precinct committee officials to serve the remainder of the term of Mark Souder, who resigned following a sex scandal. Stutzman wisely has a staff that includes both employees new to the office as well as veterans of Souders office.
Make no mistake, Stutzman, 36, is a reliable conservative who will favor spending cuts over raising taxes on higher-income Americans. He does not want to renew tax credits for wind energy, which could cost Indiana.
But he reached out to other Hoosier congressmen – including Democrats – to support the National Guards base at Fort Wayne International Airport, and is at least willing to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats, who are now in the House minority. And he worked with Sen. Richard Lugar to author a realistic version of the farm bill, one that would rightly eliminate direct payments to farmers but would have cut funding for food stamps by $13.9 billion – though that figure is less than the $16.5 billion cut the House leadership wants.
As a former state legislator, Stutzman is well aware of Indianas needs.
Boyd, 57, is pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church. He lost to Thomas Hayhurst in the 2006 Democratic primary for the congressional seat, has a strong grasp of the issues and solid plans to strengthen Medicare, Social Security and national defense. But if hes elected, as a freshman Democrat in the minority party, he will have little – and probably no – chance of advancing those plans.
Credit Boyd for running a more active, coordinated campaign compared to 2006. But the district is so heavily Republican, his efforts fall short of the truly extraordinary campaign a Democrat must run to win.
Coming Sunday: Superintendent of Public Instruction