Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's On: Todd Young Files for Congress

A new development in the 9th District Republican race today.

It's been a long time coming, you might say.

From the Bedford Times-Mail:

Paoli lawyer explores run for Congress
Opposes Obama stimulus plan


PAOLI — Saying many Hoosiers are becoming troubled by the prospect of trillion-dollar federal deficits, Paoli attorney and Bloomington resident Todd Young today filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to create an exploratory campaign committee for Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District.

Connie Nass, former Indiana State Auditor and mayor of Huntingburg, is serving as treasurer of Young’s committee. State Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, is a senior adviser.

The 9th District seat is held by veteran Rep. Baron Hill, a Democrat from Seymour. Hill defeated Republican Mike Sodrel in 2008, and the seat will be up for election again in 2010.

“I know it is early to be talking about a political campaign, but it is not too early to be concerned about the dangerous levels of deficit spending now being recommended by Congress and the Obama administration,” Young, a former policy adviser to Sen. Dick Lugar, said in a prepared statement.

If President Obama signs into law a stimulus bill of $825 billion, the fiscal ’09 deficit will soar to at least $1.3 trillion, more than double last year’s $541 deficit, Young's statement asserts. By 2010, total federal debt could reach $14 trillion, or 95 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, he said.

President Obama is arguing that the stimulus bill will create up to 4 million new jobs.

“Americans may not realize how enormously inefficient this bill would be,” Young said. “These enormous deficits are ultimately going to force huge tax increases on the American public or trigger an inflationary cycle that will greatly reduce the buying power of Americans’ savings and retirement accounts. We have not seen deficit spending on this scale since World War II. It’s time to sound the alarm.”

A bit more here. Partial bio here. More substantial bio of Todd Young here.

Above, I noted that this run was a long time in coming. It was.

Todd Young first floated his name to run for the 9th District in 2008, a possibility met with concern from Baron's camp. He politely deferred, however, when Mike Sodrel decided to run against Baron Hill for a fourth time. Since standing aside, Young has focused on poking Baron over government spending, energy, and ethics issues in a variety of letters to the editor (here, here, and here). Since the election, he has started to test the waters about a possible campaign.

Todd Young's deferral to the respected (and de facto incumbent) Mike Sodrel has not locked up the 2010 nod for him, but I think it has won him a lot of respect among base activists, county party organizations, and so forth. That will carry him far should there be a primary contest (perhaps with Jasper doctor Richard Moss and/or Columbus conservative activist Travis Hankins).

Had Young challenged Sodrel in the primary 2008, he would have likely been trounced and might well be less acceptable in 2010 (even after Sodrel's defeat) as a consequence. That's the sort of lesson that folks up north lining up to run against Dan Burton might want to consider.

So Todd Young is making news. Anyone heard anything else about Travis Hankins, Richard Moss, or any other potential candidates?