The tight Republican primary race for Indiana’s 9th Congressional district turned out to be a shock for one campaigns. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
Faces were a bit glum Tuesday at the gathering place for those who supported business owner and former Congressman Mike Sodrel of New Albany as they watched election results come in. Deputy Orange County Prosecutor Todd Young of Bloomington squeaked out as the winner against Sodrel and Travis Hankins, a 28-year old real estate developer from Columbus.
Sodrel was looking to have his fifth race against Democrat Baron Hill of Seymour to represent the district, after loosing to him three times and winning once in 2004. With campaign supporters surrounding him, Sodrel sized up the campaign.
“You know, there’s been a big anti-incumbent mood in the country,” he says, “and I was painted by an incumbent by some folks because I had served one term in Congress.”
Sodrel came in a very close third to second-place Travis Hankins of Columbus.
Despite the loss, Sodrel was resolute Tuesday speaking to his supporters.
“We need to restore respect for the Constitution and the rule of law,” he says. “We need to restore individual liberty and personal initiative. We need to restore economic opportunity. And those things are too important to let personalities get in the way. This party will be united in November.”
Young had raised more money than Sodrel for the primary campaign, which marks his first bid for elected office.
Sodrel says he knew the race would be close but wouldn’t speculate on what he would have done differently.
“Hindsight is always 20/20,” he says. “We were up far enough that we thought we could take the beating we were taking in the last two weeks. And in hindsight it was pretty obvious that it was worse than we thought it was.”
Sodrel says it’s highly unlikely that he will run for the Congressional seat again and that he will do what he can to help fellow Republicans in November’s general election.