Two Socialist Party Candidates Set to Challenge Indiana State Reps
Party says it's turned in enough signatures to run in Indy and Carmel
A long-dormant political party is set to return to the Indiana ballot in November: the Socialists.
The Socialist Party USA says it's gathered enough signatures to field the sole opposition in two state House districts that are about as different as they can be. Carmel Republican Jerry Torr authored Indiana's new right-to-work law. But Indianapolis Democrat Cherrish Pryor faces a reelection challenge from Socialist Ron Haldeman.
Haldeman notes Pryor used to work for the Indianapolis Chamber. He charges legislators have been too sympathetic to corporations, and says it should instead use the government's power to improve Hoosiers' lives. He says Indiana should emulate France's new Socialist president Francois Hollande, and raise taxes to hire more teachers, and build and staff more libraries and schools.
John Strinka acknowledges it'll be difficult for a socialist to beat Torr in conservative Carmel, but charges right-to-work will destroy the only tool workers have to level the playing field with employers, by chipping away at collective bargaining. And he and Haldeman both say the campaign gives them a platform to make their case that the government is better positioned to serve the common good.
The Indiana Election Division has another week to complete official counts of signatures and determine whether Haldeman and Strinka turned in enough.
Several parties have run on variations of the Socialist banner, but it appears none of them has appeared on an Indiana ballot since 1976, when Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Peter Camejo -- later a Green Party leader in California -- finished fourth among five candidates in Indiana with a quarter-of-a-percent of the vote.