Indiana News

Republicans Hope to Hold Indiana's Largest District

11/2/2012


Left to Right:  Larry Bucshon (R), Dave Crooks (D) and Bart Gadau (L)

Republicans are trying to hold Indiana's 8th district congressional seat, something that hasn't been easy for either party over the years.

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Geographically, it's the biggest district in Indiana, anchored in Evansville and running north to Warren County along the state's southwestern border. Vincennes, Washington, Terre Haute and Greencastle are all part of the district.

For many years, it was known as the Bloody 8th - incumbents were ousted six times between 1966 and 1982.  While not changing hands as frequently since then, many still consider it a swing district, as Democrats there are more conservative than those in other parts of Indiana.

Heart surgeon Larry Buschon was first elected two years ago when the GOP took control of the House.  The Republican was helped when then-Democratic Congressman Brad Ellsworth decided to run for the U.S. Senate, losing that race to Dan Coats.

Buschon's Democratic challenger is Dave Crooks, a former state representative and an owner of radio stations in Knox and Daviess Counties.  Also running is Libertarian nominee Bart Gadau, who is seeking political office for the first time.

The district was drawn to lean Republican, but Crooks has spent almost as much money as Buschon in the race. Gadau could be a wildcard despite his newcomer status.  The last Libertarian nominee, John Cunningham, got five percent of the vote two years ago, which could make it a close race if most of those votes are taken from Buschon.

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